Chasing Light: Camera Tips from our Photography Educator
learn how to chase light & how to chase it well.
Photographing sunsets is no walk in the park, but when done correctly, you can produce some awe-inducing shots. All it truly takes to capture sunsets is the willingness to spend some time getting to know your camera (and the weather!).
Written by JP Pullos, our Photography Educator, who directly teaches the power of photography to our students worldwide and is also the mastermind behind our custom curriculum's photography toolbelt. Our curriculum not only teaches kids how to use a camera, but it is designed to teach them the importance of their unique perspective.
SEE OUR THREE EASY STEPS BELOW
PATIENCE IS Always the VIRTUE.
If you’re wanting a phenomenal sunset picture, hang around your chosen spot for a little while. As the sun continues to fade downwards, the sky will continue to change through a myriad of colors, providing you with a variety of shots.
Whenever you think you're done, I suggest to wait even a few more minutes. Shots at dusk can be just as beautiful, if not more than, sunset shots. Just make sure you’re at least somewhat knowledgeable about night photography.
EVERY IMAGE NEEDS YOUR FOCUS.
Including a point of focus in your photo will help give it a unique and interesting touch. If you’re on the beach, find a tree to place in the forefront. Or if you’re in the city, an exceptional looking building will add a captivating touch.
Another way to spin the focus, is to bring along a friend (we like photography with friends). You can either create a silhouette by decreasing the exposure (see instructions below) or you can pop your flash up to get a properly exposed person AND a properly exposed sunset.
NEVER STOP EXPERIMENTING.
When working with our students in the field, white balance is a function on the camera that we don’t typically cover until one of our later classes in the curriculum. And as a general rule of thumb, we recommend to let the camera do the work around white balance. With sunsets, however, the white balance setting is something that can be interesting to play around with.
The white balance setting exists on your camera because all light sources have a particular kind of color cast – most often on a spectrum from really orange to really blue. Tungsten and Incandescent light bulbs tend to let off a really orangey light whereas the light caused by shade (or really indirect sunlight) is really blue. Playing with the white balance setting when you’re taking pictures of sunsets can be a fast and easy way to either warm up your image (increase the orange in the image) or cool it down (increase the blue in the image).
To see what this looks like, find your white balance setting and shoot one image of a sunset on the tungsten or incandescent setting and then shoot the same sunset but change the white balance setting to shade (or, if you don’t have shade, use cloudy). You’ll see quite a difference! Once you see those two results, you can then toy around with the various white balance options on your camera that will get you exactly the result you like.
WANT TO LEARN directly FROM JP & SUPPORT 100CAMERAS?
JP, also of the highly successful JP Teaches Photo, has partnered with 100cameras to bring to you photography tips and a night of fun with the Brooklyn Nets, with proceeds benefiting 100cameras. See more below!
Join JP and JP Teaches Photo for a two hour photography class at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, on Saturday, March 26 and learn everything you need to know about taking great photos with your camera. Not to mention - get the breathtaking stadium shots you've always wanted. After a short break, all participants are invited back to watch the Brooklyn Nets take on the Indiana Pacers. What could be better?
BONUS: For this one night only, students who participate in the class will be given special permission to use their professional camera to take shots inside of Barclays during the game. Access like this is usually prohibited, making this truly a one-of-a-kind opportunity.
$10 from every ticket purchased will go towards the 100cameras mission to give photography and change a community. Sign up before tickets sell out!