How to Get a Cool Natural Lighted Sky

This instructable is here to teach you how to get a really cool colored natural lighted sky for any type of photo whether this is for a landscape, flora/ fauna, or portrait photo.

Step 1: Items/ Supplies Needed

Obviously, you'll need a camera. Digital cameras work best, I was told that this technique will work with any camera. I use an SLR. SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex, the type I used for this photo was a Nikon D40. If you are taking a portrait photo, you will need a camera with a flash, or a separate flash attachment. You shouldn't need a tripod, but if you like using it feel free to. You'll also need a little practice, patience, and time. This image isn't mine because I cannot take a picture of my camera....with...the camera.

Step 2: Set Up

Set up your camera for the scene. Check out your composition in the viewfinder. Adjust the focus of whatever you are trying to take a picture of approximately just before sunset ends.

Step 3: Wait

Now, you just have to wait. It will get dark out, you know about that time of dusk between just after the sun has gone down and between actual darkness? That's the time we are shooting for. Take time, when you think it's dark enough, try a few shots and preview them on your digital camera (this is why digital is preferred.) If it's not bright blue, it's not time yet. After some practice you will be able to spot that time of dusk just by looking at the sky. Below is an example of 'almost' but not quite time yet. This technique is great for city-scapes because typically they turn their lights on which give a nice contrast. The night sky will look pretty dark when it's time, and if you're not paying attention you will miss it completely.

Step 4: If You Missed It...

If you happen to have missed it it's okay, but you will have to wait till tomorrow at least till you can try again. So get as many shots as you can to try to pinpoint this time (and I can't give you an approximate time because the sun set's at different times all over.) This is an example of too late, and you missed it. The sky looks almost black here, your sky will look dark dark blue or black.

Step 5: Practice, and Enjoy

Practice, and you will get it with time, and like i said patience. Once you get the hang of it, enjoy your cool natural lighting!

Thanks for checking this out, this was my first Instructable that I actually finished. Feel free to leave some constructive criticism if you have any for me!!



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    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Step 3

    I have taken a few good pictures like this one on accident. Next time I will have to try this on purpose. Thanks for the tips :)


    9 years ago on Step 1

    oh, thanks. Yes fantastic, this is where i first learned about it.