Fort Myers Beach – A Great Spot to Capture a Sunset
Let’s face it. Sunsets with nothing more than miles of blank ocean to the horizon and then a ball of sun dropping into the sea are boring as hell. Imagine a small child’s drawing of said sunset. Not much better than the square house and lollipop tree crayon rendering.
Sunsets as an experience are wonderful with cocktail, glass of wine or beer in hand and your skins slowly feeling a sunburned memory of a fun filled day at the beach. But as a photography subject, many a snap shot fails to capture the feeling of the moment.
As with any good landscape, the artist seeks to find strong elements for a complete composition of foreground, middle ground and background. Too often snaps of a sunset have nothing but background which is why they fall flat in the intrigue, substance and interest levels.
Taking Fort Myers Beach as an example, the fishing pier makes a great point of interest for fantastic sunset photos. Located on the western coast of Florida, this region of Florida makes for great sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.
The trick is figuring out where the sunset will occur, finding a great foreground to add interest to the shot, set up your tripod and hope people stay out of your way, bracket your exposures and don’t forget to manual focus before you lose the light because your autofocus might not work in low light.
Also stick around after the actual sunset to get some amazing colors in the sky that only occur AFTER the sunsets.
General Sunset Photography Tips
I like having my camera on a sturdy tripod for sunsets. Take a exposure reading off the sky, set up your camera in manual and shoot away. Look at the results in the LCD screen and examine the histogram. Adjust your setting and fire away bracketing your shots to cover a wide exposure range.
Keep in mind that to create a stunning sunset you’ll need some great clouds. A blank sky is going to be boring and often the sunset gets lost in low hanging clouds on the horizon so be prepared to revisit the same spot several times during your stay in the area. Also stick around after the sun goes down in case the sky opens up.
Also take your white balance off of auto WB and put it on Daylight. Auto will adjust for the warm tones and take away the colors you came to see! Play around with the WB setting if you want to intensify the colors.