Sanibel Island is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets in Southwest Florida. Almost nightly orange and pink will light up the horizon and the ambiance of the clouds and ocean make it perfection. You can find good sunsets anywhere, but on Sanibel Island, you can find spectacular ones due to its location. Use these 8 tips to improve your sunset photography while out at Sanibel Island!
1. Arrive Early
Sunsets are all about timing. The light fades fast and that makes a huge difference for your photos! Plan ahead and know exactly where you want to view the sunset that day.
Speaking from experience, there is nothing more frustrating than driving out to catch a sunset, only to miss it because you couldn’t find parking or something worse. Double-check the exact time of sunset and plan to arrive about 15-20 minutes early to be safe.
2. Watch for Storms!
Thunderstorms can surprisingly bring the best sunsets after it’s done of course. The storms bring clouds of all sizes and the shifting winds make for some amazing photos. On days where I shoot after a storm, I find my photos are heavily cloud-focused and often get more purple color tones than red.
3. Watch for Clouds
Light, fluffy clouds make for the best sunset photos. Keep an eye out in your weather app for daily cloud coverage information and visibility percentages. Keep in mind that clouds that are very dark or situated super-low tend to block the setting sun, so avoid those days.
4. Be Patient!
The sun might have just set, but the magic isn’t over yet! Minutes after the sun disappears the sky will adjust and start shifting into what’s known as the blue hour. During this roughly 20 minute period, the sky will start to turn blue up above. This dark contrast of blue with the oranges and pinks still lingering will make for a great photo.
5. Find a good Tree!
I love a good sunset photo that features some trees in it. I’m a sucker for a pretty palm tree (probably from growing up in Florida), but almost any tree with a good sunset in the background will look good. Having something as simple as a tree will give the photo some depth perception and just add to the overall beach look
6. Keep your lens clean!
Shooting sunset photography at the beach is fun, but it can sometimes be messy with the sand and water. Be prepared for the sand and keep your equipment clean.
When I shoot sunsets I bring blankets to put my stuff on, keep my equipment in separate zipper-sealed bags, and keep a lens cloth handy at my side. Sea mist is always blowing, so you may need it more than you realize!
7. Shoot Wide Photos
If possible, try and take pictures with a wide-angle lens. Designed to have a greater depth of field, this lens will capture more of the sunset in your shot. If you do not own this lens, then consider taking your photo in landscape view vs. portrait or square. This will capture more of the sunset in the photo, which helps later with any editing. You can always zoom your photos in later, but if you shoot too narrow to start, then there is less to work with later.
8. Use a Tripod
The waves are already moving, your hands don’t have to be too!
Take the stress out of having a shaky shot by bringing a stable tripod for your camera. Leight-weight and easy to set up, you can then shoot either click manually or use a timer.
Sanibel Island is truly a treasure for Southwest Florida. Have you visited here? Leave your comments below!