Capture the setting sun
Try our Big Project: create an image that goes from day to night in one frame
Whether you’re shooting a sunrise or a sunset, picking the perfect time to take the shot can be challenging. The range of colours, tones and the distribution of light over time can mean taking multiple images, all with merit in their own right. So why not combine the images into a single photo showing the contrast between day and night?
A quick word of warning to anyone who is firmly anti-Photoshop: this project involves plenty of editing, but it’s easier than it looks, and it can result in something much more dramatic than a single frame.
As any photographer who’s dragged themselves out of bed for a sunrise (or braved the disappearing light for a sunset) knows, capturing the full majesty of the moment can be a challenge. The contrast between day and night can only really be seen over a period of a few hours, and as such is traditionally only captured in a series of individual images or a time-lapse.
This tutorial gives you the tools to capture all the colours and contrast in one photo. Getting well-exposed, sharp images before and afterwards is difficult enough to master, especially as long exposures are required. Having limited time to catch the stages of the sunset means preparation is required, as unlike a traditional sunset shoot, you’ll be using more than one photo. Altering settings while the lighting is changing takes a bit of practice, too, but the Photoshop techniques used are basic enough to master quickly, and with a bit of practice and some experimentation, you’ll soon have day-to-night images you can be proud of. Here’s how it’s done...