There is something truly magical about the warm glow of sunrise or sunset – the gloriously intense colours often inspire photographers to pick up their cameras and start shooting. But how many times of you been disappointed by your results? And have you been left wondering what happened to the vibrant colour that inspired you to take the shot in the first place?
You’re not alone. This is a common problem, but one that is easy enough to put right. Here are three ways to make sure your pictures pack a colourful punch the next time you attempt to shoot the sun – morning, noon or dusk!
How to capture vibrant colour in-camera
Step 1: Optimise your exposure
A lack of vibrancy in your pictures can often be due to over-exposure, which results in washed-out colours (learn How to fix bleached out skies in Photoshop). To combat this, take a meter reading from the sky, excluding the sun itself and anything in the foreground.
Step 2: Warm up your shots
Adjust white balance manually using your camera’s presets, or for more control use the Kelvin (k) setting to select a colour temperature of between 6,000 and 7,000k. If you shoot in raw, this can be done during processing.
Step 3: Add vibrancy
If you’re a JPEG shooter, the vibrancy can be increased by selecting the Vivid or Landscape Picture Style. To rescue an insipid shot, use the Saturation and Vibrance sliders in Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop Lightroom.