How to shoot Twilight – Rural Landscapes

How to Shoot Twilight - Guy Edwardes

A blend of two exposures to retain maximum detail. Shot at Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset.
Canon EOS 5D Mk II, 17-40mm, 8 seconds, f/22. © Guy Edwardes

Most photographers agree that dawn and dusk are the best times of the day to photograph landscapes, but once it gets completely dark most photographers pack up their bags. You can get great shots of unlit landscapes and seascapes even in almost pitch darkness if your exposure is long enough. Some photographers use exposure times in minutes and, in some cases, even hours. The effect is that skies often take on a milky appearance as the moving clouds record as a blur. Any water in the scene also takes on a misty, smooth-as-glass appearance, which can add an ethereal atmosphere to an image.

How to Shoot Twilight - Adam Burton
Adam Burton used a 0.9 grad over the sky in this shot taken at Milford Sound, New Zealand. Canon EOS 5D, 17-40mm, f/19, 120 seconds, ISO 100. © Adam Burton

Dusk and night landscapes are often more effective if you have water in the foreground, because solid ground can look a bit murky at night, so try heading to the coast or the nearest lake. Don’t forget to look after yourself by wrapping up warm, taking gloves and perhaps a flask of hot drink, as temperatures can drop rapidly at night.

How to Shoot Twilight - Adam Burton

Adam exposed for the shadow side of the boat closest to him, and used two ND grads with a combined blocking power of five stops to prevent the sunset sky from over-exposing. Taken in Jasper National Park, Canada. Canon EOS 5D, 17-40mm, f/19, 120 seconds, ISO 100. © Adam Burton

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. How to shoot Twilight - Settings
  3. 3. How to shoot Twilight - Towns & Cities
  4. 4. How to shoot Twilight - When to Find the Perfect Light
  5. 5. How to shoot Twilight - Shooting Fireworks
  6. 6. How to shoot Twilight - Capturing Reflections
  7. 7. How to shoot Twilight - Lights In Motion
  8. 8. How to shoot Twilight - Rural Landscapes
  9. 9. How to shoot Twilight - Using ND Grads
  10. 10. How to shoot Twilight - Useful Accessories
  11. 11. How to shoot Twilight - Hints & Tips
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