Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunrise, sunset Part 3

The third and final tutorial on lighting using sunrise, midday and sunset.  These are.... Sunset. ;)  

What you will need for these shots:
-of course a camera (dslr with manual settings)
-reflector (remember the foam core boards at Michaels for $2.80 work just as well as an expensive reflector)

You will want to decide what you want out of this shoot.  For instance, do you want it back lit? Side lit? full frontal lighting?  Of course you can have it all but it is best to imagine what you want out of your shoot BEFORE you go in to start photographing.  Especially if you are photographing small children.  They only have so much patience for the camera and it is best not to waste that trying to figure out what you want because by the time you know, they will be ready to go home.  

I went into this shoot knowing I wanted the back lighting to give a nice golden hair light.  What is great about sunset pictures is the golden hue you get.  If you don't like the golden hue, don't shoot at sunset.  Sunrise would be better or even midday (remember with mid day to use a diffuser to eliminate those harsh shadows). 

Here's how I set it up.  Sun in the back and slightly to the right and the reflector directly in front of her.  I had helping hands but you could always find something to prop it up.  These images were taken at 6:30 pm.

 Here is the finished piece!  It took a lot of persuasion and a lot of clicking to get this shot but once we convinced her to stay put and asked her to show me her pretty dress she grabbed one side of it and started swaying left to right.  I clicked away and got this beauty.  I did minimal editing by sharpening adding a little contrast and very low opacity on some color enhancement.

Next is another shoot a little later in the evening, just as the sun was setting, about 7pm-7:30pm

 Here's the set up.  Again I had helping hands.  I used the gold side of my reflector to add even more warmth to the images.

 These images the reflector was to my left.  I shot with many different angles while she played, frolicked and dances in the prickly grass.

As I am sure you noticed, these last images are more golden than the ones taken at 6:30 pm.  As the sun sets it casts a more golden light as well as with the help of a gold reflector you get a yummy color.  The image on the left was just before the sun disappeared. 

Now get out there and shoot! :)


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! This is just what I needed to read! I can’t find anywhere in our area to buy a reflector though, it’s driving me up a wall!!!

  2. Hannah, you can order a reflector online if you do not have a local camera store nearby. Also, foam boards at Michael's or Wal-mart for under $3 work well too! Good luck!