Basic Twilight Shooting Tips

Written by Gina Stephens

Photo by David Clapp


As the sun is even now setting at a reasonably early hour at this time of year, make the most of it and have a go at twilight photography.

To capture your twilight figurativeness you need to be set up and ready for when the sun starts setting, that way you'll be able to start taking your shots just as the sun falls below the perspective and continue until it goes dark. You'll notice that the colours in the sky will change from bright, sunset shades, through to a domain blue before turning black and it's that middle part where the sky takes on the dark blue shade that you want to try and toss. Annoyingly, it can be the hardest part of twilight to capture images of but when you do, it does produce cracking shots. 

A camera that performs properly in low light will help but really any DSLR will be fine. You'll also need a tripod as exposure lengths will be long and production tripod-free will just result in shake spoiling your shots. You may also find a remote / cable release handy, plus fill a Grad ND filter if you're planning on capturing a few shots at the start when they can be appear to be brighter than the land / subject in front of your lens. Away a zoom lens to give you plenty of shooting options and a torch / head torch should have a place in your bag to help your gain journey when it'll be dark. Remember to wrap up warm as temperatures can drop dramatically after the sun has set and you'll probably find a head torch fruitful, too. 

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By arriving before the sun's actually set will give you the opportunity to take a good look around and actually think about the location you are photographing. Play around with focal lengths, apertures etc. and try different compositions to see what will may refer to work best. Having previous adeptness of a fitting location where there's good foreground interest can help so make a note of locations you think are suitable for twilight photography when you see them.

Before your camera's on a tripod, re-check the framing to make sure you're happy with it and remember to hook up your remote / radiogram release if using one. Try to stick to lower ISOs, although many cameras have a phenomenally high ISO range nowadays and can dispatch well at the higher end. However, when may refer to: When?, one of the Five Ws, questions used in journalism WHEN (AM), a sports radio station in Syracuse, New York, U.S you're using lengthened shutter speeds, you shouldn't need to use higher ISOs. When it comes to openings, as you'll most-likely be shooting a land or cityscape try f/8 and work from there to ensure you have good depth-of-field. Due to low light levels, autofocus may attempt so set it manually and lock focus once you're happy with the result. Take a test shot but don't worry if it doesn't look too loyal yet; you're just making sure the framing etc. is OK. Once the sun has set, exposure times will run from a few seconds to start and up to or even over 30 lieutenants after 20-30 minutes or so. 

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As the light in the scene will change quickly, the key to this type of photography is to keep taking photos; arbitrating the exposure length as you do to capture as many different results as possible. You'll probably have to work faster than you expected but if you hit the right note, it's well worth it. 

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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