Photograph at dusk in Västerås

Photograph at dusk in Västerås

Shooting at dusk almost always creates beautiful images.

It is a super beautiful light just before the sun goes down. Its often called Golden Hour, I am guessing because it actually gives everything it touches a golden tint.

There is also a beautiful light just after sunset called the Blue Hour. It occurs about 15 minutes after the sun has set and lasts for about 30 minutes, so it is not very long.

Therefore, when you want to take photos on these occasions, it is important to be present when these different lights are occurring. Therefore, it is good to look around a few days before hand in the same place to look for the best location, I usually call it, location scouting.

En pojke som fiskar i solnedgången
Aperture. F8 Shutter speed 1/320 sec, ISO 320

Weather and wind matter!

When you are out photographing, you have to be patient, because the weather gods do not always play into your hands. Sometimes everything is perfect while other times not at all. Do not give up if you do not see the light that day. Either wait a while if you see the sun in the clouds or come back another day.

Keep your eyes open for other views!

You can also keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Like a fisherman who was not there before or a cyclist who lies and rests for a while that gives you the opportunity to create beautiful silhouette images with them as the foreground of your image. It is not certain that they will remain for long. I can tell you that this guy who was fishing, had finished fishing when I arrived so I only had time to take one picture with him in it. The guy resting on the bench quickly sat up after I had started photographing near him and then the moment itself was gone. It's really important to see and take opportunities when they are in front of you.

En man som ligger på en bänk och vilar sig i solnedgången
Aperture. F8 Shutter speed 1/320 sec, ISO 320

See the light in your photos!

During my photography courses I hold in Västerås and around Västmanland and Närke, we discuss a lot about learning to see the light in their pictures. Where does the light come from? How to think when the light comes from behind or if it comes from the front? What effect do you want in your photos? What do you want to create for the feeling with your image? If you want to learn more about how to take better and more interesting photos, you are welcome to join me on one of my photography courses. Read more about my courses here.

How do you create star-shaped effects from the sun in your images?

Have you ever thought about how you create a star shape from the light in your photos? During my photography courses, we play around with how you create a star formation with the light you have in the picture, whether it is the sun, a lamp or a street lamp, etc.

The simple answer is to say use an aperture higher than F.8 and it's solved. Then you can have a higher number on your aperture number and it creates a little different effects of just the light rays from the sun or the lamp in your picture. Feel free to play around with which aperture number you need for your particular occasion where you are. If you have an F. 16 or higher number, the sun or lamp will usually have beautiful fine star rays. Which is your highest aperture number depends on the lens you use. Among my lenses, sometimes the highest is F.22 and sometimes F.32. How the light rays looks like how many and how fine the rays are also differs on different lenses.

When changing aperture numbers, remember that you also need to change the shutter speed ratio and maybe even ISO so that you do not create an overly dark image (underexposed image).

En båt på land under solnedgång
Aperture. F8 Shutter speed 1/320 sec, ISO 320

Silhouette shooting!

When it comes to street photography, it's fun to use silhouettes of people to create some emotion in your photos. You also do not have to worry about photographing people because no one can still recognize them in your photos because they are so dark. To photograph a silhouette, you must have light behind what you are photographing, so that the one you are photographing as well as blocking the light a little. You have to think about your background here, because if the background is also dark, it will not be possible to see your person, but you must find a background that is lighter in shade than what you focus on for the person or building to stand out in the picture. 

Solen skiner över ett promenad stråk i Västerås
Aperture. F11, Shutter speed 1/250 sec, ISO 320

Create creative images!

I also try to inspire to create creative images e.g. find cool reflections. Then maybe your image has two messages and not just one?

Here I have taken a photo into the window of the conservatory at Steam Hotel. It was not what was inside the window that was my primary goal with the picture but what it reflected. You can take reflection pictures in almost anything as long as it reflects something, so look at everything from a pool of water to a window to see what you see in its reflection. Sometimes super cool and sometimes not, so keep that in mind and look around all the time.

Reflection in a window at Steam Hotel in Västerås
Aperture. F11, Shutter speed 1/250 sec, ISO 500

Steam Hotel in Västerås

Steam Hotel in Västerås is quite grateful to photograph because it is so beautiful. Especially if you are there at sunset. Then the façade lights up completely golden brown.

Steam Hotell i solnedgång
Steam Hotel in Västerås at sunset. Aperture F8 Shutter speed 1/320 sec, ISO 320

Check for details and shadows in images

When photographing architecture, look for details on the facade that may make it unique and a little more special. Here, too, you can play with the light and the effect of shadows on a building. You can create incredibly beautiful images with contrasts, bright and dark places in your images.

Hus fasad i solnedgång
Aperture. F11, Shutter speed 1/250 sec, ISO 500

Öster Mälarstrand in Västerås

I like to walk around Öster Mälarstrand's promenade along the water edge of Mälaren in Västerås, just to capture the beautiful buildings in the different lights that we have at our disposal. Here I have walked around just before sunset. I never stayed until the sun went down completely but almost. I left before the blue hour started. But I might stay next time.

If you want to learn how to create more creative images, feel free to follow one of my photography courses that I hold, in Västerås and the surrounding area.

You can create your own private photography course where I teach you what you want to improve more within your photography. You can also take a group photography course where you can ask your individual questions and thus learn what you are looking for.

Read more about my private courses here.

If you are interested in a Mentorship in Photography, you can read more about it here .

Hope to see you in the near future.

Until then, happy snapping!

/ Helen Shippey

Photographer in Västerås

Vy över Öster Mälarstrand i Västerås i solnedgången
Aperture. F10 Shutter speed 1/500 sec, ISO 320

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Företagsfotograf Helen Shippey

About me

My name is Helen and I love to create and happily share what I create with my cameras / drones.

Join me on my photography assignments.

You can call me Shippey, my friends does!


Has; Apprentice Letter in Photography