Last week saw volcanic ash from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajoekull volcano cover the UK and ground all flights in and out for several days. Whilst this disruption sent friends and colleagues into chaos, I couldn’t help but take advantage of the positive side – the beautiful sunsets! Click an image below to see the full size version on Flickr:
I am lucky enough to live in the rolling hills of Surrey (England) and last Saturday I took a trip up to Box Hill to check out the multicoloured skies. Now, anyone who’s tried to capture an amazing sunset on camera will probably know it’s a bit tricky! If you’d like to try it out, my main advice would be:
- Check your exposure settings – if you have an option to use ‘spot metering’ my advice would be to try that setting and point it at something in the foreground (hold the button down halfway, re-frame your picture and push it all the way down to shoot). In my photos I aimed for the tree branches in the foreground in all the pictures except for the darkest, which I pointed directly at the sun. You may also find it easier to manually focus if you have this option, as some cameras will have trouble focusing with such bright light in the background.
- Set your white balance to ‘daylight’ if you have it, as automatic settings can cause a reddier image than the actual scene (for example the last two pictures in my set were taken on a compact camera on auto and you can see the difference in colour).
- If using PhotoShop or similar and you’re not sure how to colour correct, using Auto Levels will often get you back to what the scene actually looked like – that’s all I’ve done in my set of pictures here.
Remember these are just my personal preferences, not a definitive answer – experiment with your camera settings and let me know how you get on. Any other photographers out there with tips, feel free to share!
Happy snapping :O)