How to nail your Instagram sunset photos every time

Once every so often there is an amazing sunset in your area and your Instagram is filled with all that glowy goodness. So how do you compete with all these photos? You are all looking at the same sunset, right? Well, there are a couple of tips I can give you to get an awesome sunset photo.

First of all: This post is focussed on smartphone users. Most of the rules can be applied to DSLR-photography too, but that one’s far more elaborate. I’m using a Huawei P10.

Composing your shot

The most important thing is finding a good subject. Yes, you have the sunset and bright colours, but that’s the setting. Pose yourself in the shot looking at the sunset. Or find another cool subject to set as your focal point.

Then add a foreground to your photo. It could be something as easy as a couple of leaves hanging down from a tree. Or maybe a nice rock that happens to be around.

Looking up from the ground adds some drama to the photo immediately. So get low to the ground. Lower. Lower. Just lay down!

Apply the rule of thirds to frame everything nicely. Don’t know the rule of thirds yet?

The rule of thirds: Imagine 2 lines separating your photo in 3 equal pieces. Both horizontally and vertically. This causes your photo to be separated in 9 parts by 4 lines. Now place the most important things on the intersections between those lines. And done!

Exposing your shot well

If possible, expose your photo manually. Most smartphone can do it these days. Set the settings right according to the light meter, and then turn it a bit darker. This will bring out those bright colours more.

If all this doesn’t work well, consider shooting in HDR. Smartphones have a function for it, and if you are using a DSLR, you probably know how to do it yourself.

To go even further, bring a tripod. When shooting HDR (on DSLR) that’s already a must. Chances are you might shoot with a longer exposure, so get that camera steady!

Sunset hashtags for Instagram

Sharing your photo’s on Instagram is important too. So I researched some popular hashtags for you:

  • #sunset
  • #sunsets
  • #sunsetbeach
  • #sunset_ig
  • #sunsetporn
  • #sunsetlovers
  • #instasunsets

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