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Photography: tips for a better sunset picture

fire sunset altocumulus romantic

Sunset picture are something apparently easy. However, they can also be very boring. So today i want to give some great tips to make a more interesting sunset.

In particular, I want to talk about my secret to take a nice burning sunset picture…Sometimes it is possible to see a sky which seems to burn during a sunset….when it happens, it’s not a case, but a precise phenomenon called “altocumulus“…..

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Sometimes clouds climb very very high in the atmosphere, so high that they are still capable of rebouncing the raylights even after the sun has set. This brings a couple of advantages:

  • the colors are more intense, because the atmosphere is not affected anymore by the halo of the sunlight
  • the sunrays pass through a wider amount of atmosphere, producing a more red and strong light color (the atmosphere tends to filter out the blue color)

altocumulus red sunset


It usually happens after a stormy afternoon…If you are lucky enough, you will see clouds dissolving after the storm just before the sunset so that the sun will be able to shine again over the sky. If that’s the case, keep ready with your camera. However, chances are good that it can also happen without a storm when it’s partially cloudy


To recognize it in advance, i usually look at the clouds in the afternoon, and check how much high they look, and if the final portion of the horizon is free, so that the sun will be able to shine and enlighthen the clouds while setting over the horizon. 

In particular:

  • high clouds look like sheeps (the famous makerel sky)
  • they also look like very smoothed long shapes
  • they tend to be static 
  • low clouds tend to be plump and rounded and usually move faster (you can perceive the movement with your naked eyes)

So, if the clouds look effectively high and the horizon is still enough free to make the sun shining during the final part of the sunset, that would be a nice clue.

If that’s the case, take the camera and keep ready



Concluding, during autumn and winter, (I suggest from October through March), give a look at the sky in the afternoon. If you see what it looks like an altocumulus, that can be the right moment to take a nice burning sunset shot

Thanks for reading!


Copyright © Moyan Brenn and Earthincolors.wordpress.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Small excerpts or the pictures contained in the article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Moyan Brenn and Earthincolors.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content


2 thoughts on “Photography: tips for a better sunset picture

  1. I am a travel photographer from North East India, these tips will help me further. Thank you very much.

    Posted by Bijit Dutta | May 3, 2016, 5:59 pm

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