Photo of the Day

People standing on a pier silhouetted against the sun
September 11, 2011

Sunset, Fort Myers Beach, Florida

This Month in Photo of the Day: Your Photos With Tips From Photographer Catherine Karnow

The key with sunsets is that you have to have subject matter, such as this boardwalk and people. You can’t just shoot the sun. Although the orb is lovely, it is the people and their shapes that make this an interesting picture. Including subject matter also gives you a sense of place. A sun setting over a body of water could be anywhere. And sunsets are a perfect excuse for shooting silhouettes.

In this image, I want to keep looking at the silhouettes; the variety of body language is intriguing. With silhouettes, each shape must be carefully defined, with no two shapes overlapping. In this photo, we keep seeing more as we keep looking. I love the two figures, third from the left, placed right between the diagonal lines of the pier, as well as the woman placed dead center in between the next pair of diagonal lines.

Photo Tip: Always include subject matter, such as silhouettes, in your sunset photos, and watch that the shapes have separation between them.

See more of Your Beach Photos »
Get more photo tips »

Photograph by Guido Mandozzi, My Shot
Create a free account to continue and get unlimited access to hundreds of Nat Geo articles, plus newsletters.

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

Create your free account to continue reading

No credit card required. Unlimited access to free content.
Or get a Premium Subscription to access the best of Nat Geo - just $19