Magnificent Sunsets

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Magnificent Sunsets

Watching the sun set over the ocean is a really special experience. And of course you want to take some magnificent photographs to capture these impressions. Yet the photographic equipment is not so easy to master. Without a stand and the correct exposure setting, the results are usually less spectacular than one would hope. Here are four tips from our Tamron expert to enable you to easily capture fantastic photographs.

  1. Use a stand: Even if there is maybe a risk that the use of a stand will not have you breaking out in exuberant celebration: without a stable tripod it is not possible to shoot sharp images in low light. Take a look at our example photograph. The photographer Ian Plant used an exposure time of almost 1 second. This type of image would never be tack sharp with hand-held photography – even using the powerful image stabiliser in the 16-300 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD it would still be expecting too much.
  2. Switch off the image stabiliser when using a stand: Speaking of image stabilisers: If you are shooting photos from a stand, switch off the intelligent image stabiliser feature. Otherwise, this could lead to blurred photos and increased energy consumption because the computer chip in the lens will attempt to compensate for vibrations unnecessarily.
  3. Measure the brightness of the sky: As you are always dealing with backlit photography in the case of a sunset, the camera's automatic settings will interpret the exposure incorrectly. In general, avoid any underexposure by overexposing a little (e.g. + 0.7 to + 1.3 EV) or using an old professional trick: Select the spot metering function and target a mediumly bright spot in the sky next to the sun. Alternatively, you can measure the reflected light on the surface of the water. In both cases, you will receive a usable starting value, which you can then correct upwards (+) or downwards (-) a little where necessary.
  4. Select a super wide-angled lens: The sky on its own is boring. A spectacular photo of the sunset can only be achieved by integrating the foreground into the image. Select a wide-angled focal length and a low camera position to integrate close-up objects into the image composition. Ian Plant photographs with the new Tamron travel zoom 16-300 mm in the 16 mm setting, which corresponds to an effective focal length of 25.6 mm on the APS-C digital SLR camera – perfect for achieving a fantastic depth effect.


Technical data: Canon EOS 70D with a Tamron 16-300 mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD at 16 mm, 1/1.3 seconds, f 16, ISO 200 (aperture priority, stand)

Foto: Ian Plant/Tamron Japan

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