Help with sunrise/sunset shot

edited December 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3300 Forum

I bought new D3300, and yesterday I tried capturing a few sunset shots. It was beautiful scenery with a yellow, red and blue sky, but when I captured it, it was giving the shot without the beautiful color effects. Also in the shot, the sun shape was not getting captured. I could see the white-yellow with the sun shape.
I was using A mode with 200 ISO, but no luck. On my earlier DSLR, a D5100, I had sunset and beach mode, which I am missing the most on my D3300.
Please suggest settings for beautiful sunrise/sunset landscape.


  • Gaurav,

    The mode for sunsets is buried in the menu, so it sounds less intuitive than on your older model. If you want to let the camera operate on an automatic setting, go into Guide mode (top wheel), under the "Shoot" menu, there in the Advanced operations is a setting for "capture reds in sunsets."

    That said, manual mode might give you a whole lot more control. :0) If you expose to the sky without the sun included, depress the shutter button to lock the exposure and focus and then reframe to include the sun again, you should get a pretty good exposure.
  • edited December 2016
    Thank you so much. I can see lots more options in guide mode. Thanks again. Hopefully I will be back soon with another query.
  • Sunsets are hard to catch owing to the limited dynamic range without some added processing. If you are metering for the whole scene, it will likely try to overexpose the sunset in order to open up the shadows in the scene below, making the sky dull and the sun blown out. Make sure you meter for the sky and not for the ground. You may be able to open up shadows later if the terrestrial part of your shot is a silhouette you don't want.

    It can also help to change your color balance. The automatic white balance tends to be pretty cool, and you may get better looking sunsets with a cloudy or overcast white balance, as well as switching to vivid picture control. All of these things can be done in post if you shoot in Raw form.

    Welliesnbrellas' suggestion to meter and hold the reading is good. You may have to aim both away from the sun and above the ground to bias the exposure best for the sky if there is much foreground in your image. If you're in an experimental mood, you might also try spot metering. Aim the spot meter (corresponding to your AF spot, or to the center if you're using auto area AF) at something in your image that should be at the midrange of brightness (neutral gray or the color equivalent). You can try bracketing exposures if you're not sure. Take one shot at what looks right, and use exposure compensation to go about one stop to either side of that. Remember if you're using manual mode to turn off Auto ISO, or the camera will second-guess your bracketing by changing ISO.
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