LEARN HOW TO MAKE YOUR PERFECT SUNSETS INTERESTING ENOUGH TO HANG ON THE WALL:

Is your sunset going to be enlarged?  Is it really?

calm blue sea during golden hour
Photo by Sasha Martynov on Pexels.com

I have noticed an interesting thing as I go through peoples homes about sunset photos:  that most people love sunsets, but, very few ever get enlarged to go on the wall.   Why is that?  It’s because sunsets don’t tell a story!  I see every night several people show absolutely the most gorgeous sunsets on Facebook, and everybody goes, oooh, ahhh, but, would you go into their home and see any of these sunsets hang on their wall?  Probably not.

I have been watching this phenomenon as I go through people’s home for some time.  But, there is a certain type of sunset photos that do get hung up on the wall, and that is the type that have some subject material or something in the foreground that tells a story that make it on the wall.  For example, a couple standing there looking at the sunset, or a beautiful horse running along the beach, or palm trees that you saw while on the beach…. a memory of yours while looking at the sunset WILL hang on the wall.  Here is some examples:

silhouette of people raising hands during golden hour
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

 

sunset ship boat sea
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If this boat has some kind of memory to you, then this will be something that you would hang on the wall.

 

road in city during sunset
Photo by Nout Gons on Pexels.com

Something like this might be memorable because of a place you stayed at.  A hotel, or an island you went to.

 

affection blur close up couple
Photo by Rosie Ann on Pexels.com

Put yourself or you as a couple in the sunset photos, this will hang on the wall, more than a plain sunset photo, plus you are enjoying the sunset as well.

 

 

 Just being artistic:

 

As a photographer, sometimes you just want to be creative without putting people in your photos.  If you have a time and you want to get some good sunset photos, and you would like to maybe sell them, then the ones that will sell more than just the plain sunset photos are the ones that have some type of subject in the foreground of the sunset.  Like these ideas:

beach dawn dusk hd wallpaper
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

 

green rice field
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

A nice scenery along with the sunset will be an amazing piece for sale.  Watch and see.

 

seaport during daytime
Photo by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

Any person can feel this photo….. just walk into the sunset.  A great photo!

 

art beach beautiful clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This one could have ended up being a real boring sunset photo, but the artist put something in the foreground.  I am betting that some people will fall in love with this.

 

landscape photography of green grass field
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

Thank you trees!  You save many a good photo.   The trees just happen to save this photo nicely.  I actually know a photographer, who carries a small bush or branch in his trunk of his SUV to add to many a foreground.

 

So, I want you take a look at the above pictures and take out what is in the foreground.  Would you like the photo?  That is what you normally would get with most sunset photos that everybody goes…. oooh, ahhh over.  Can you see now how much better your sunset photos will be, just by adding something in the foreground.  They become a marketable photo.   You will be more proud of these than if you shot just a plain sunset.   This takes you to another level, closer to the level of a pro.

 

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Photo by Lanny Cottrell

 

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COMING SOON:  IMAGINE WRITING ALL THESE BLOGS AND ALSO TEACHING THESE KIND OF PHOTO TRAINING COURSES.  THESE IDEAS SHOULD BE PUT INTO A BOOK, DON’T YOU THINK?  WELL THEY SOON WILL BE AND YOU WILL HAVE ACCESS TO THEM SOON.  THIS WEBSITE WILL BE UPDATED AS WELL AS A BOOK ON KINDLE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE, AND ON THE NEW WEBSITE BY SEPTEMBER.  LOOK TO THOSE GREAT NEW ADDITIONS.  123PHOTOGO WILL BE THERE TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.  ALL THE WAY.

 

 

The above article written by:  Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo

HOW TO GET THE PERFECT SUNSET PHOTO:

Are  your sunset photos the way you want them to be?  Read on:

photography of body of water
Photo by Willian Was on Pexels.com

Have  you ever taken a sunset photo and then looked at the results and thought, yes, that is not too bad, and then you saw some other photo of the same sunset and their sunset photos was so much better.  And you are wondering how they did it?  It’s the same sun, and it’s the same time, and it’s the same clouds, etc?  What is going on?

Here is some tips to make your sunset or sunrise photo just “snap” into color or look so much better for you.

Planning for your photo:

What?  I thought you could just be there and snap, get your photo.  Honestly, I look at the clouds an hour before I go take a photo of the sunset and say, “this is going to be a perfect sunset photo night”.   Not every night is going to be a perfect sunset night.   It is true, that most sunset photos are taken at the spur of the moment and you could be there at the right place at the right time.  Good for you who happen to be there.  Let’s move on.

Composition:

A sunset is not just another photograph of the horizon.  If your sunset happens to go down over an island, or mountains or something then give it some composition.  People who look at sunset photos will like it much better.  Remember if you are shooting at the ocean that the horizon of the ocean should be in 1/3 of your photo.  Either the upper third or the lower third.  Where is the most color in your photo:  In the reflection on the water or color in the sky?  Then put the most color in the upper or lower third.

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Here you see where there is a lot of color in the water, so the horizon is in the upper third of the photo.
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Here, because of the clouds in the sky, it only made sense to put the horizon in the lower part of the photo for more impact.

Another thing to consider in a sunset is to add something in the foreground of your photo.  This makes for a much more interesting photo:

 

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Adding trees and foliage in your foreground is a beautiful way to capture a sunset as well.  

Another great thing to do in capturing a sunset is the use of a silhouette.  If you have your family along for this, involve them in the photo:

 

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A silhouette of your family, a child or a group is often a popular thing to do with sunsets.

 

Exposure:

The exposure aspect should also be considered to let you capture the beauty of light during sunset. What you can do is switch your camera into shutter priority mode or aperture mode. This will allow you to take different shots at varying exposures thereby achieving different results and effects for your images.

Bring your tripod along:

photo of a person taking photograph of sun
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Many good sunset photos are taken without a tripod.  But, I also think the most beautiful photos are taken just after the sun sets, when the sun is gone, and the lights put on some hues that are absolutely beautiful.  Most people miss those.  If you have your tripod you will capture, what I call, “the twilight colors”.  The blues, the purples, that everyone misses that are the most colorful, and can only be captured with a tripod.   IMG_0005-1503031004748

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Shot at “twilight” when the sky produced the blues and purples in the sky.

Watch out for your “auto white balance setting”

Sometimes your auto white balance will see the huge amount of color and try to adjust your camera for all that extra color.  I know one photographer who sets his camera setting for either manual, or in automatic mode he will set it for cloudy mode or shade, whichever you have on your camera.  That might be worth experimenting with.

 

I hope this has helped you in your sunset photos.  There are a lot of good sunset photos gracing the walls of homes.  Big ones of you on the beach are always the fun ones.  So, enjoy God’s masterpieces.

 

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Better Equipment Versus Knowledge – Which Will Help You Improve Your Photography More?

Something to think about:  Which will improve your photography more?  Better equipment, or more knowledge?

 

person standing near lake
Photo by Lukas Rychvalsky on Pexels.com

 

As a photographer, you always have the urge to buy new equipment thinking it will bring you better results. This might be true, but only up to a certain point, because if you don’t have the knowledge you can’t make the most out of your equipment.  I started out with a basic manual camera, the film camera from Nikon, the Nikkormat.   It was a work horse and it had a manual light meter and I knew I had to learn the metering system quickly and learn what happened if I didn’t get the meter in the middle, as well as how to correct for backlight, front lighting, etc.  I got pretty good at it, and I knew that the only thing left to do now was to add some equipment to my knowledge.

But, here is what is interesting:  if you found a photographer that was a good film photographer, that learned how to work their manual camera well, and learned how the metering system worked and how to manipulate the f-stop to get the desired depth of field, and how to use the shutter speeds to their advantage….. and give them a camera today, they would out shoot most any of us now, because they know what it takes to make a camera work to their advantage.

I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how to take better photos and overcome the obstacle of not having the latest equipment.

1- READ

The most important thing you can do is to read. Many people skip this step and think that only by practicing will they improve. It is true that you have to practice, but unless you study the theory first there is no way of practicing in an efficient way.

For example, if you read an article about shutter speed and aperture it’s easier the understand the mechanism and then apply it, than trying to figure it out all by yourself.

adult back view blur book
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

 

2. Know your equipment:

You just bought your first camera and you are stuck with the first “kit” lens.  You know you can learn from that kit lens a lot of things.  That lens at 55mm can take portraits just fine, and you can learn to take a lot of people pictures with zoom lens at that millimeter.  And the wide angle part of that lens is not too bad to take some pretty good scenery photos.  It is not a perfect lens, but, you can learn so much with doing that lens.  I figure you should be able to shoot anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 photos before you have learned everything you need before you need to buy another lens.

beautiful blur fashion female
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

3- Know what to buy:

I have had a major blog and instruction on how to purchase your first camera.  You have friends who own a Nikon, a Canon, a Sony, an Olympus, blah, blah, blah.   I am going to tell you now, that you should not listen to any of them.  You need to find out for yourself which one works for you.  And that involves a bit doing number 1 again.  Read about the different cameras first.  And then go to a real camera store.  Walmart and Target are not real camera stores.  The people behind those counters don’t know anything about cameras.  Go to a real camera store that has knowledgeable camera sales people.  And then beware of the salesperson who tries to sell you a specific camera before you get your questions answered.  HE MAKES MONEY ON SELLING YOU A SPECIFIC BRAND.   You need to get several cameras in your hand and feel them, and see which one feels the best to you.  The one that feels the best, and moves with you the best, and the buttons and dials seem to be in the right place for you, is the camera that you should buy.  Personally, I have owned every brand.  I needed to be non-biased and have found good in all brands.  They are all good, and I think I could like any one.  So, it is a matter of trying one on for size, and see how they feel to you, and study what the critics are saying about the different cameras.

 

Knowledge Over Equipment

Next, I’m going to present some arguments on why better equipment doesn’t necessarily make you a better photographer and on why knowledge can help you overcome your equipment struggles.

Buying new equipment is always tempting, but you have to learn how to make the best of what you already have. The best thing you can do as an amateur is buying an entry-level camera and a prime lens. Stick with it and see if you can come up with a new vision every time you go out to take photos.

selective focus photo of woman holding rail beside monkey
Photo by Dazzle Jam on Pexels.com

At first, I didn’t know how to use manual mode. But do you think buying a better camera is going to help with that? No is the answer, you have to read and understand how the relationship between ISO, shutter speed and aperture affect everything in a photo.

After learning that no picture is the same and the settings are going to change every time, you have to do a lot of trial and error. If you practice enough you can achieve great things. After learning how to use your equipment you have to learn how to process your pictures because it makes a big difference as well.

Example-3-2

 

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The next thing you have to know is that light makes the difference in every picture, you have to learn how to manipulate and control the light. Once you know how light works you are going to love your equipment.

portrait of young woman during winter
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com
woman wearing black scoop neck top
Photo by Samad Ismayilov on Pexels.com

 

When do you need better gear?

 

1-  In low light situations:

With your entry level camera you can maybe shoot in low light to ISO 1600 and then your photos will start having something called “digital noise” happen to the picture.  With the more expensive cameras today, I have seen some of the newer cameras shoot as high as ISO 10,000 ISO and hardly any noise to the picture at all:

adult beanie dark emotion
Photo by Brandon Nickerson on Pexels.com

 

2- Sports Photography:

I have seen two problems with the entry level cameras that you will have that you won’t have with the more expensive cameras.  1-  The autofocus on the more expensive cameras is much faster and more responsive on them than on the entry level cameras.  And 2-  the motor drive in conjunction with the autofocus is much faster and it can keep up with the action photography.  I have never seen a good sports photographer use an entry level camera to take their better sports photos.

high angle view of people on bicycle
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

person kicks soccer ball in field
Photo by Zac Frith on Pexels.com

 

Conclusion:

So in summary, equipment is just a tool. It doesn’t help you to shape your vision and buying the latest gear as a beginner is not the best choice you can make. When you find that you have difficulty expressing your vision with your current equipment, then you can start thinking about upgrading.

 

COMING SOON:  IMAGINE WRITING ALL THESE BLOGS AND ALSO TEACHING THESE KIND OF PHOTO TRAINING COURSES.  THESE IDEAS SHOULD BE PUT INTO A BOOK, DON’T YOU THINK?  WELL THEY SOON WILL BE AND YOU WILL HAVE ACCESS TO THEM SOON.  THIS WEBSITE WILL BE UPDATED AS WELL AS A BOOK ON KINDLE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE, AND ON THE NEW WEBSITE BY SEPTEMBER.  LOOK TO THOSE GREAT NEW ADDITIONS.  123PHOTOGO WILL BE THERE TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.  ALL THE WAY.

 

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