The other weekend I was teaching my in-person learning to shoot in manual mode class (which is also available online) and offhandedly mentioned to the attendees my “trick” to suset photos.
It’s been something I have wanted to share for awhile. Truthfully, I was planning on including it in the ebook I wanted to write about getting better photos from your phone but I got bogged down by the idea of writing that book so I’ve scraped it (at least for the time being).
Today I want to share about sunsets. They are so beautiful and truly, no two are the same. I have photographed many, many sunsets and they have usually been one of my most frustrating things to photograph, especially with my phone.
The colors are just never right.
I always struggled with my phone turning the pinks and purples into oranges and yellows and having no traces of pink or purple remaining.
Until this summer. I don’t even know how it happened but at some point I realized that changing one setting on my phone (same thing would go for a regular camera too), turned my photographed sunset into how it actually looked.
It’s really so easy I almost hesitate to share it.
All I did was turn my white balance (found in your camera settings) to cloudy.
Seriously, that simple.
The photos above are unedited, the only difference was that I changed that one setting, and same with the two below:
Just changing it to cloudy makes the pinks and purples in the sunset pop. If you wanted to take it a step further you could also reduce your exposure a bit (either in your camera settings or after in a photo editing app).
The photo below was taken on my phone, completely in auto:
Then I changed my white balance to cloudy and got this:
The pinks and purples came through but not as much as I remembered so I took it into my favorite photo editing app (VSCOcam) and reduced the exposure by 2, and because I didn’t want to see so much detail on the houses I also increased the contrast by 1, and ended up with this:
That’s how I remember the evening.
So there you have it, a simple way to bring some of that great color back into your sunset photos.
Do you enjoy taking photos of the sun setting?
Do you think you’ll give this a try the next time you do?
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