Another Sunset

Sunset at NUI Maynooth, Ireland, 2007

[irrelevant]I’ve spent some time over the Christmas holidays revamping this blog (mostly under the hood though). Just quickly: For a while now I’ve been using a wordpress plugin called Yet another photoblog together with some custom code to automatically generate in a non-messy way the EXIF table you see at the end of each post and to create the reflection below the images. Unfortunately I didn’t use this nice plug­in from the beginning, so there were about 30 picture posts left out. But since the plugin does a very elegant job of everything I’ve decided to migrate the old posts so that now every post goes through the plugin. This then allowed me to automatically generate a comprehensive list of all the pictures discussed so far, which you can find by clicking on any of the “More pictures” links. Also, the random pictures in the top right are now picked from all the images posted so far. Finally, thanks to the wonderful php-typography class the typography of the posts should be cleaner, and best of all: there’s now hyphenation — I never thought this would be possible with HTML, but there you have it![/irrelevant]

Today’s photo was shot way back in 2007, and shows one of the massive sunsets we get here in Maynooth in the winter months. Now when you shoot sunsets, as I said before, the most important thing is exposure and white balance. And composition.

If you camera is set to automatic, it usually overexposes sunset scenes and you loose all the intense colours. So make sure you set your exposure compensation to some negative value (experiment around a bit, starting from, say, -1 EV).
White balance
You’re best off using the a scene mode (most cameras have a “sunset mode” of some sort) which should take care of that. If you have control over the white balance though, make sure your above at least 6000K with some extra magenta added in too.
It always helps if you have an extra subject apart from the sunset in the scene. You see, unfortunately there are way too many sunset (or sky pictures in general) around, so a picture of just a sunset is usually quite boring, no matter how impressive it is. Instead, try to include an extra subject in your picture, like the two guys here you walked past just at the right moment. That way, you generate an extra amount of distinction to all those sunset pictures out there…

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