Tonje Lilleås

Photographing sunsets by the ocean

In this post I’m giving you five tips to photographing sunsets by the ocean.

One of the real perks of photographing back home in Sunnmøre is that you can photograph every kind of landscape here. Mountains, fjords, lakes, woodland, beaches, oceans, rivers and intimate cultural landscapes, they’re all within a reasonable distance.

Changing it up

Since I grew up among fjords and mountains, that’s what I tend to go for. But this easter my dad and his wife took me to some sweet spots to photograph the sunset by the ocean. And today I’m sharing some of the results. But before I do that, I’m going to give you a few tips for photographing sunsets by the ocean. Some of which I did not follow myself on this particular shoot.

Five tips for photographing the sunset by the ocean

1. Do not look for compositions that only means shooting directly into the sunset. Look in the opposite direction as well, as the sunset casts beautiful colours on the surrounding landscapes as well. And these compositions tend to be easier to shoot.

2. Choppy water? Bring a ND filter that allows you to get a longer exposure. As you can see by my images below, choppy water kind of ruins the whole serene scene of a sunset. Shutterspeeds slower than one second will give you smoother water, which helps calm down the whole scene. Perfect for that smooth sunset light.

3. Use a tripod and bracket your shots if you do not have a graduated ND-filter. If you shoot directly into the sunset, the difference between the very bright sky and the dark foreground will make for a difficult exposure if you didn’t bring a graduated ND filter. Bracketing can help with this. Just make sure you don’t go overboard when merging your shots as an HDR later, as it will make the final image look very unnatural. Unless you really want a look that screams HDR, then go for it!

4. Stay a bit longer than you intended to. The best light is often yet to come as you are about to pack your stuff up. Patience, patience and patience yet again.

5. A bit of clouds in the sky is better than totally clear skies. Don’t let clouds keep you from packing your gear and heading out. Clouds reflect the colours in the sunset in a magical way and can make the sky burn. Beautiful!

Ok, that’s it for now. I hope you like the images and that you feel inspired to go out shooting yourself! If you like the images or the tips on shootin sunsets, please like or leave a comment down below. And make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on posts to come. I really appreciate it!


  1. Reply

    Anne Grethe Lilleås

    April 10, 2018

    Nydelige blinkskudd….verdt å sjå om att og om att👍👍👍!

    • Reply


      April 10, 2018

      Tusen takk😘😘😘

  2. Reply


    April 13, 2018

    Beautiful photos. As I only have basic cameras and cannot fit lenses or filters to them, I do my best with sunset/rises. My camera is pretty good at this usually, until I can afford something better.

    • Reply


      April 13, 2018

      That’s the main thing right, to use whatever equipment you have at hand! You definitely don’t need all the equipment out there to get good images! Glad you like the images, and I really appreciate your feedback🙏 Whishing you the very best of weekends!


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