10 Things you Need for Shooting Summer Sunset Photos

This was the most incredible sunset I have ever seen. Too bad I left the wilderness early because I forgot everything important and had to snap this from my living room.

Don’t make this mistake! Always take these things in your camera bag:

1. An extra battery for your camera. In fact, bring two. If you are shooting long exposures, your battery will drain quickly!

2. Water and food for the distance you are going and the time you will be out there. I never bring enough food and often leave because I am starving or thirsty.

3. Your tripod. I know it’s heavy, but you’ll need it for anything good. I recommend the Gitzo Traveler gt1542t because it’s light and fits in most backpacks.

4. Remote trigger. Get one and don’t drop it in a waterfall like I did. The two second timer mode works in a pinch, but trust me, unless you are a ninja you will get camera shake on some of your shots.

5. A wide angle lens and a zoom like the 16-35mm and the 70-200mm. You may not need both, but if you don’t bring the zoom, you will inevitably miss the most incredible eagle shot.

6. Headlamps!!! I forgot mine the other day and nearly fell off a cliff. It gets dark right after that magical sunset and you always have to hike back in dangerous conditions. FYI an iPhone with the flashlight on works in a pinch, but it’s not great for more rugged conditions where you need to use your hands for scrambling.

7. A lens cleaning cloth because using your t-shirt never works especially if you have sunscreen & bug spray onΒ tongue emoticon

8. Bug spray. Man, those biting jerks come out at night. There is nothing worse than being eaten alive when you are waiting for those long exposures.

9. A circular Polarizer will make the clouds in the sky pop! Get one. You will not regret it. I have a Marumi on that works well.

10. A graduated ND filter will darken the sky, but keep the foreground exposed properly. I recommend a 0.6 (2 stop) or 0.9 (3 stop). I use the Lee filters ones. Use a hard grad for straight horizons and a soft grad for landscapes with mountains or trees that cut through the horizon line.

Final tip: The best sunsets occur after a cloudy/rainy day. If you see the sun peaking through the clouds at around magic hour, you are in for a great sunset.

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