What settings are recommended for shots of the sunset/ sunrise without having the foreground objects silhouetted? Or is it only achievable by stacking multiple images in Photoshop? enter image description here

  • Could you give some examples of the sort of shot you are trying to reproduce? – Philip Kendall May 3 '17 at 22:16
  • I added a photo that I had to brighten substantially to get it decently exposed in the foreground. How could I get the foreground brightened to about where it is in the photo with the sunset still visible? – AshleyNichole93 May 3 '17 at 22:25
  • I'd recommend doing an HDR photomerge or something similar, but another thing you can do while editing is drop the highlights and increase the shadows. This should make the sunset more visible. – NoahL May 3 '17 at 23:02

For an image like this, if you don't want to process multiple exposures in Photoshop you could use a graduated ND filter. Since the skyline is fairly straight a hard graduated 2 or 3 stop filter might suffice. With the dynamic range of modern cameras you could could also probably use a graduated filter in postprocessing without having noticeable issues.


In addition to reading your Nikon D810 user manual, about "Active D-Lighting", "Bracketing", "HDR" photography, "Autoexposure Lock" and using Manual exposure settings, you might find these questions / answers in the Tags Section above, help somewhat for your problem:

  • 3
    FYI: if you're linking to Stack Exchange questions and you want to use the question's title as the link text, just paste the link. SE's engine will automatically substitute the question title for "bare" SE links. I went ahead and edited your answer using that trick. – scottbb May 4 '17 at 14:17
  • @Scottbb Thank you , still learning the quirks of this site. – David Barry May 5 '17 at 0:10

This can be achieved using a tripod. You need to shoot multiple exposures, minimum 3 clicks. First a normal exposure, second one to be a under exposed image (bring the light meter 2 f stops low.), 3rd one over exposure the image (increase the meter to 2 f stops up). If you check these 3 images you will see, one will be neutral, 1 will orange sky, one with the subject bright. Now merge these 3 images using image editing tools like Lightroom or Photoshop. This technique is also known as HDR imaging. There are HDR softwares available online, where you can upload these 3 images and they will give you a combined version. If your camera has a built-in HDR no need of any softwares to achieve this.Hope this help

  • Frankly, HDR is just "stacking multiple images in Photoshop" (or another program) which is exactly what the OP said they wanted to avoid. – Philip Kendall May 5 '17 at 8:34

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