Thailand’s green season is just around the corner, which means there has never been a better time to capture the colours of Asia while on a trip to one of the continent’s most popular beach destinations.
Dusk is a time when the colours of the sky, land and the sea come to life, and nowhere more so than on Thailand’s famous holiday islands of Phuket and Koh Samui.
If you are staying at a private rental villa on the beach or even high in the tropical hills, sunset is best enjoyed with a cocktail in one hand and camera in the other.
The end of the day is a particularly wonderful time to capture some superb atmospheric shots of the scenery, as it lights up in the ever-changing baby blue, peachy pink and burnt yellow light of the sky.
Below is a selection of sunset photography tips to make sure the photos you snap do the Thai sunsets justice.
Track the Sun
Whatever time of day you are shooting, light is undeniably one of the most important factors that will determine the quality of your photo. To snap the best sunset photographs, seek out a location in advance that you know will offer a fantastic view. Locations that are high up, for example, are often great if you want to see how the sun tracks down over the ocean. Once you have settled on your position, arrive in plenty of time before sunset so you can get settled for the golden hour.
If you can tear yourself away from the glowing sunset sky for a few minutes, it’s often worth turning around to capture the scenery behind you as it is illuminated by the sinking sun. The warm light produced by tropical sunsets bathes the landscape in a delicious golden hue that many photographers miss because they are too busy focusing on the sun itself. In addition, it’s worth noting that all the best sunsets seem to occur after a rain, which makes Thailand’s green season a wonderful time to catch the best natural spectacles
Take Your Time
If you can ignore your stomach’s frequent grumblings as dinner time approaches, then stay put in your photography position for a little while after the sun has dipped below the horizon. Patient photographers often capture some of the most colourful shots during what is known as second sunset, when the sky lights up with colour again before fading to a rich, indigo blue. Many photographers miss out on this second sunset, so this is your chance to make your holiday photo album shine.
For real experts, underexposing photographs is a great idea for sunset colours to appear more intense, which creates a more dramatic scene. Underexpose your shots by selecting your camera’s manual mode or a fast shutter speed. Contrary to popular belief, it’s also a smart idea to ditch the filters, as any polarisers won’t boost colour saturation in your photograph. It’s best not to use a UV filter when you are shooting sunsets, as it will cut the richness of your colour’s down instantly.
If you want to add some more depth and interest to your sunset shots, seek out objects that will reflect the glorious hues displayed across the sky. This could be anything from a calm ocean to the lotus pond in your private villa’s garden. You can incorporate the reflection into the overall landscape of your photograph, or even make it the sole focus of the image.