(photo credit: Adrian Whittle)
Tom Langford is an event and commercial photographer, professional retoucher, and a website designer.
is a popular time of the year for family vacations. Among the mountains
of snaps that have been taken will be some dramatic sunset pictures -
often the most impressive pictures from the holiday.
the camera at a bright light source, such as the sun, causes the rest of
the picture to be underexposed - this automatically creates a more
dramatic picture. Sunset snaps may impress family and friends, but most
lack the basic elements that all good pictures have in common. Here are a
few simple tips that will help you take really good sunset pictures
that will impress more than just your family circle.Backgrounds and foregrounds
of the sunset pictures sent to me for feedback are what I call
“backgrounds” – they are not interesting enough in themselves but could
be effective behind a suitable foreground subject. Good pictures have
depth, both physically an emotionally, and sunsets are no exception.
take a look at a typical “background” sunset and see how it could have
been improved by applying some basic principles of photography.
is a typical snap. If a picture is worth a thousand words then the
snapper would have to supply the nine hundred and ninety words missing.
The simplest way to go about improving it is by adding depth through
including some foreground detail as in the next example.
shot now has two layers, a background and a foreground. It’s beginning
to take shape and is more interesting. But it still lacks a vital
element - it needs a strong focal point to draw the eye into the picture
and add some emotional and as physical depth.Focal points
photographing a sunset try to spot an interesting or appropriate focal
point to include in the shot: You could use a sign, a fence, some flying
birds, the silhouette of trees, a boat or even a landing stage. In the
example below I have included a bather looking out to sea.
picture now has three layers that combine together to give it some
depth. When shooting try to include at least three layers that interact
together and add a little complexity to attract and hold the viewer’s
attention. Following these simple principles will improve not only your
sunsets, but every picture you take.Constructive Feedback:
If you are aspiring to develop your photography skills, send me a
picture and I may use in one in my articles with some constructive
feedback. Send one picture only, at a small size to suitable for emails
to [email protected]
.If you don’t know how to send a photo by email at a small size please look at my Brief Guide to Picasa: www.langford.co.il/courses/PicasaGuide.html Tom
Langford is an Event and Commercial photographer, website designer, and
professional retoucher. He teaches photography courses for beginners
and improvers. Details of his courses and field trips at: http://www.langford.co.il/courses