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Sunsets Without The Sun

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Mason Resnick is the editor of the Adorama Learning Center and a lifetime photography enthusiast.

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Sunsets Without The Sun

It's all about light and shadows

When you think of a sunset photo, do have a preconceived image of a red-and-orange sky over a luscious shoreline, or perhaps some people palm trees silhouetted against it for good measure? Yeah, I know: Been there, done that.

But if you turn your camera away from the sun--ever so slightly--you may recapture the visual magic of the few gold-infused minutes right before the sun dips below the horizon. Simply, photograph surfaces the setting sun is hitting, at oblique angles.

Photo © Christine Balderas

Photo: Mason Resnick
It can be the sand on the aforementioned beach. Or, if you’re in a city, shoot the sunlight bouncing off buildings. Try to get some people in the shot to add a human element, and photograph the light hitting surfaces at extreme angles, which brings out textures and patterns that might be overlooked at other times of day. Watch how the long shadows add yet another dimension to the scene.

See? Sunsets (not to mention sunrises, which look almost identical) are still worth photographing!


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