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3 Ways to Shoot at sunset | Part 3

by Zach on September 25, 2014, posted in Photo Tips & Tricks,Uncategorized

(This is a 3 part series, and you can access part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE for further images, diagrams and info!) 

In part 1, we talked through shooting backlit as the sun is still a little high in the sky and how to get that “glow” on your images that all portrait shooters love. In part 2, we talked about adding contrast to your images by using the just-setting sun directly to get a completely different look. Now, here in part 3, we are going to cover shooting with highly reduced contrast as the sun finally goes down.

The image above was shot AFTER the sun had completely set. This is a great time to shoot because the sun itself is not a source of light that we have to deal with, but rather the sky (that the set sun is still lighting up). The sky is now one HUGE soft-box that creates really soft light that has reduced contrast due to its large size in comparison to our subjects.


As you can see in the final images, the shots are soft, slightly flat, and have a very low contrast ratio from highlight to dark.

This time of day looks best with clear to partly cloudy skies so that the sun can bounce off the sky and send light our way. If we have an overcast day, then this timeframe for shooting can look really dreary and dark without some sort of additional lighting or lighting modifiers.


The great thing about shooting in this light, is there is not much instruction needed for HOW to do it, because we just have one gigantic light that is really easy to deal with. We can have our subjects posed in ways that flatter them, and then just expect to see everything since the light is hitting it all. You do have to be careful at this time of day because you can’t use light (or the lack thereof) to hide any parts of your client that you may not want to see. You have to use posing and correct lens choices to get flattering images. But, as you can see, the images will all have very soft skin tones that is flattering in that respect.

With these three options for shooting at sunset, you should be able to get a great wide variety of images in a very short amount of time that your clients will love! Now get out there and shoot!


(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.

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BIG light on a small budget + Giveaway!

by Zach & Jody on September 4, 2014, posted in Photo Tips & Tricks

This post is not only on how to get AWESOME light on a small budget, BUT, we are giving away the gear we are highlighting today!


(Giveaway info is at the bottom of this post!)

Today we are going to talk about using BIG lights.

We mean, REALLY BIG LIGHTS but on a small budget.

Now, when you go out to shoot, it is nice to be nimble and fast and move from shot to shot really easily. But sometimes, you just want to take some of the images from your shoot and make them look really different OR, you just don’t have any great light and need to make your images look awesome with some stand out off-camera lighting.


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Do you ever pull images into Lightroom or Photoshop and decide to make a black and white image of one of your shots, and when you do, it just seems to lack a little life and vibrance? When we first starting shooting, I would always feel like my black and white images lacked something, that little bit of extra POP that would make them come alive.

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