3 ways to shoot at sunset with natural light | Part 2

(For part 1 in this series, click HERE) 


After the sun starts to just dip into the horizon, but BEFORE it is completely hidden from view, we like to create some photos that have more contrast and depth versus the ones we did in part 1 of this series. Here are the simple steps to do this.

Step 1. Short Light the Ladies

We will position our ladies so that the sun is coming in just over their shoulder in order to create a very flattering lighting effect on their body, and also give the image depth and dimension. The guys can be placed with the light hitting them a little more straight on, but then the key here is to position the camera so that the lighting is coming from the right (or left) side of us like in the image above. This allows the camera to see the highlights and shadows that the light is creating.

Screenshot 2014-09-17 14.20

If we just walked over and put the sun to our back, then the image would come out flat and because there is still a bit of direct sun coming at them, it would be pretty unflattering.

Step 2. Use Open Sky for Fill

If you place your subjects in the exact same way as we did here, but to camera left had a big dark building or a bunch of dense trees, then you would not have much detail on the shadow side of the body. We prefer to have some details on the shadow side, so we use the open sky to camera left in order to create fill-light to give us the final look.

(BONUS!) Step 3. Create Layers for more Depth 


If you can, put something between you and your subjects that can help create a 3rd layer. If you just shoot your subject and the background using this technique, it can make a nice image, but if you can put something in the foreground, then you will have a really pro looking shot that is dramatic and slick.

Final Tech Specs: 

Canon 5D mark 3, ISO 200, f/2.0 at 1/640th second – Canon 85mm 1.2L lens – Edited in LR 5 – Color and Exposure Captured using the Expo Disk 2.0

Stay tuned for part 3 coming Tuesday!

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