©Wolfgang Kaehler

Photographing Sunsets and Sunrises




I prefer photographing sunsets to sunrises.  I believe that the light in the evening is warmer and has many times more color than in the mornings.  Best results are usually found when it is lightly overcast and some interesting clouds are in the sky.

When I am looking for spot to view and photograph the sunset or sunrise, I try to place something typical of the area into the foreground.  It could be a sculpture, people walking on a beach, trees, etc.  This will give your photos depth.  My exposure is right on the sunset and the subject in the foreground will be silhouetted.

I also carry some filters with me to fake a sunset when the warm colors are not there at the time the sun goes down.  This has “saved” me several times to get an impressive image when on assignment.


 In the image above I used a graduated Tobacco filter to intensify the orange colors in the clouds at time of this sunrise.

For this image I used a Sunset filter to get any color at all.  Both images have been published several times.


When shooting sunsets, I have seen that photographers pack up their gear and leave a scene too early.  After the sun has gone below the horizon, wait for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Have your camera on a sturdy tripod pointed towards the sunset.  As in the photo of the Toronto skyline above many times an afterglow develops if the weather conditions are right.  Usually you need a blue clear sky with some clouds or haze on the western horizon.

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Posted December 18, 2010 | Categories: Blog and Photography. Tags: filters, photo tip, photography, photography blog, sunset, and travel photography.

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