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Sunset in Phuket

Sunset in the island of Phuket in Thailand

Picture 1. Sunset on the Phuket island in Thailand. On the foreground there is a man watching the sunset and on the horizon there is near by jungle island.

19.06.2007 Category: Photography
Picture 1 was taken on the Phuket island in Thailand. The sunset seemed promising and I stayed on the beach with my camera waiting for that most favorable moment. The sun was just setting into the horizon and it seemed that there was just the right amount of clouds in the sky.

In my opinion clouds are maybe the most important element in a sunset. Without clouds the sky isn't really special when the sun sets.

Photographing the Sunset

Sunsets require long exposure times so I attached mini-tripod to my camera and placed it firmly on top of a beach chair. I turned on manual settings in my camera and in plenty of time I tried suitable exposure settings. The foreground of the picture was rather close so I chose pretty small aperture f/8. Suitable shutter speed was 1/40 wherewith the photo only barely avoided blowing up. While the sun is setting the sky changes very rapidly so it's especially important to be there on time to try suitable camera settings and to look for a pleasing composition.

Analysis About the Composition

Phuket is a popular tourist resort so there were many people admiring also this sunset. I thought that I would only like to include the sky, the island and a little bit of the beach into the photo but no people. I didn't want random people to spoil my photo. Patiently I waited and took about a dozen photos but I didn't get the opportunity to take a photo without bypassers.

At first I was a little disappointed but then I realized that maybe I could try to turn the situation to my advantage and include one person on purpose into my composition. I chose a man who was sitting on the beach and seemed to be watching the sunset.

There would be two fixed points in my photo: the island in the horizon and the man sitting on the beach. I decided to place these subjects to the opposite sides so that the photo would be balanced. I also chose to place the horizon low because I wanted to emphasize the beautiful sky. In the end I was satisfied that the beach didn't become deserted according to my wish but I got to include a person into my photo. I think that the man sitting on the beach brings more depth, balance and interest into the photo.