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phone snaps: friday night sunsets
i’m such a sucker for a good sunset. this is the sky that hit me as i left my friends’ house one friday night. all of these shots are completely ungraded, and shot on my phone (huawei nova 5t).
sometimes the perfect sunset has a habit of finding you exactly when you need it.
technically speaking, taking sunset photos on a phone is super simple. i like to tap on the brightest part of the sky itself to set my lighting. then i like to drag the little brightness meter (which on most phones auto determines the shutter speed and the ISO) riiiiiiight down, which is how you get those luscious contrast-y foregrounds.
framing-wise, i usually like to fill as much of the frame as I can with the sky, and keep a sliver of the ground at the very bottom of the shot. i’ll either achieve this when i go to frame the shot, or i’ll crop it when i edit it for posting afterwards.
if i’m shooting film, i’ll try to do as much of my framing in the camera as possible, since i don’t like editing my film shots at all unless i really have to. but with digital/phone shots, i tend to over-frame because i know i can always crop it or straighten it later if i want to. for instance, i’ve set my phone to shoot full 9:16 images that take up the whole screen - this gives me so much freedom for cropping, meaning i don’t have to consider the framing too hard when i’m shooting.
but back to sunsets. a lot of these shots include a lot more of the ground than i’d usually include, but listen - i needed to frame for those powerlines.
if you’re already familiar with my photos, you may already know that i absolutely fucking adore powerlines.
i especially love a rogue powerline that horizontally slices through a shot.
if i were to post that picture somewhere, i’d look at cropping it like this:
now the sky takes up around two thirds of the frame, just how i like it. and the powerline cuts the picture almost in half, which is pretty splendid too.
for the next shot, i switched over to the wide lens on my phone:
the sky was less vibrant in this direction, but the powerlines were poppin’.
again, this is a lot more ground than i would include in a shot, so this is how it looks cropped:
the meaning behind the shots i took that night was 80% “awesome sunset” and 20% “i had a really nice afternoon and the sky being pretty afterwards is the cherry on top so that’s what i’m going to capture to remember it”.
to me, photography is first and foremost the art of capturing and immortalising a moment. and lately i’ve found myself to be too wrapped up in actually experiencing happy moments in my life that i forget to take pictures as they’re happening (which is probably good for me to be honest), so having something to photograph later on, like the perfect sunset on my walk home, means i can immortalise the day in a different way.
i have a lot of sunset pictures in my phone, and i associate them all with different days and memories.