Beginning Sunset Photography Tips for the Great Plains

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Beginning Sunset Photography Tips for the Great Plains

Your perfect vacation in a naturally beautiful setting is not complete until you’ve captured that stunning sunset shot for your family photo album. Adventurous trips to various Nebraska vacation sites on the Great Plains are no exception. How to perfectly capture those dramatic hues of orange, purple, gold, and midnight blue? With all that sky, you can believe that the Nebraska sand hills in the heart of the Great Plains have some of the best sunsets in the country!

The following sunset photography tips are helpful hints for beginners from the Sandhills Motel and Glidden Canoe Rental in central Nebraska. By “beginners,” we mean that these tips are intended for the average point-and-shoot camera. No professional photography equipment or advanced skill is necessary! All you need is a working camera and an appreciation of gorgeous Great Plains sunsets!

Step 1: PLAN AHEAD. Before you embark on your trip, check local sunset times at your travel destination. It helps to know your schedule ahead of time in order to capture the perfect moment of the setting sun. In the first few days of your trip, try to scope out the ideal location for positioning your camera and any additional photography equipment you’ve brought along. For example, at the Sandhills Motel Nebraska vacation site, the rolling terrain of Hooker County provides a surplus of vantage points for shooting the landscape at sundown.

Nebraskan Great Plains Sunsets

Step 2: USE A TRIPOD. Capturing a low-light scene often requires your shutter to stay open for longer than your typical daytime snapshot calls for. In that case, you’ll want to use a tri-pod to prevent any shaking or movement while the shutter is open. Should the camera tremble or jolt while the image is being copied into the apparatus, your sunset shot will be blurry and ruined.

Step 3: USE FOCAL POINTS. What’s a focal point? In sunset photography, the perfect focal point is a silhouetted figure that sits in one of the side thirds of the shot. As a focal point, it draws your attention to a object-of-interest within the scene, a break in the dark line where land meets sky. An interesting silhouette will enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the shot, allowing the eye to travel back and forth between the figure and brilliantly colored background. Whether it’s a fence post, a tree, or the figure of a person or animal, focal points make a perfect sunset picture even better!

Step 4: FOLLOW THE ‘RULE OF THIRDS’. The trick of dividing your scene into horizontal and vertical thirds for the placement of points-of-interest applies to more than just silhouettes. Use the same rule for the placement of the horizon on the vertical axis and the sun itself on the horizontal access. To observe the ‘rule of thirds,’ imagine a nine-square grid in your field of view (as pictured below) and place the horizon and the sun as the example indicates, on the imagined grid-lines.

Sunset Photography Tips Rule of Thirds

Step 5: GET SNAP HAPPY. What does this mean? It simply implies that in order to capture your ideal Great Plains sunset image, you’ll want to snap a lot of different options to choose from. Take a photo every few minutes, for the sunset will continue to constantly change, from full-light to pure darkness. Different colors fade in and fade out, clouds come and go, and the overall dynamic of the photo can change from moment to moment. If you have 50 different versions of your sunset stored in your camera when all is said and done, that’s 50 different opportunities for getting the perfect shot!

With the help of these useful sunset photography tips, your little pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera can make your shots of Great Plains sunsets look like fine art. Sunsets are a perfect way to end the day, and a perfect complement to your Nebraska vacation site memories.