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Vote & Learn #4 : Sunsets with mobile phones

The same evening

The results of Vote & Learn #4  is out now. Thank you for your participation.

Vote & Learn #4 Result
Vote & Learn #4 Result

You can clearly see that Our winner  is  the  #4th  picture


So in this 4th vote and learn, we are going to discuss about Sunsets shots and that too with your mobile phones. And no editing done on any pictures above .

All the above 4 pictures are shot using my mobile phone.  It is a Samsung Android phone.

I think, iPhone camera is even better than this one.

How to take that Sunset shot using your Mobile Phones?

Auto mode : This is the default mode by which we usually take a picture. The phone camera judges the lighting and adjust itself to certain settings to get a good exposure picture.

So can we use Auto mode for sunset pictures?

Of course we can use, but the result will be like the first picture. If you like to have such sunset shots, you can use Auto mode in your phone camera.

Manual mode :

Newer phone cameras gives certain manual controls so that we can have some control over the light. Check the settings of your camera and you can find some options that can be controlled.

Here we are going to control 3 such settings, namely ISO, Exposure Value and White balance. I hope you can find these names among your camera settings.

First step :

We are going to set ISO from “Auto” to “100”

ISO setting to 100
ISO setting to 100

In simple terms ISO is the light sensitivity of the camera sensor. So by setting the Lowest possible setting, we are restricting the light sensitivity of the sensor. With the limited light at times like sunset, the resulting picture will be darker.

If you can find any difference between #1 and #2, it is because of the ISO changes. In #1, ISO is in AUTO; while in #2 ISO is 100.

Second Step :

Change the White balance from “Auto” to “Cloudy”

Changing the White Balance
Changing the White Balance

Cameras cannot distinguish white colour under different lighting conditions like our eyes. If you take a picture under a fluorescent lighting without these corrections, the white parts in the picture may look a bit bluish. Have you noticed?

So here  we change it to “Cloudy”.  It gives the pictures a more orange-ish colour. So did you see the differences from #2 to #3 ?!

Third Step :

Changing the exposure value from “0” to “-2”

Changing the Exposure value
Changing the Exposure value

By changing the exposure value to the minimum amount, we are further controlling the light and making the picture even darker.

Now you know  the difference between #1 and #4.


These simple settings can give you a more reddish, warm sunset shots, just by using your own mobile phone cameras.

Experiment with these settings. Some times reducing exposure might make it really dark, in such cases adjust the settings accordingly. In mobile phone camera we have the luxury of live view of the scene.

Sometimes a bit of retouching using some software like Picasa can make it look even better.


A DSLR has got similar options. In addition to that, you can control the shutter speed, to control the lighting further to make it even darker and more saturated with red hues.

The same evening
The same evening
An evening at UAE
An evening at UAE

These pictures were taken the same evening, with my other camera. You can try similar settings in your DSLR also.

Hope you enjoyed the Sunset shots. That is all for this part of Vote n Learn.

Happy Clicking.  Keep experimenting.

Let me know your feedbacks, What do you want to include in this series etc. Do share , because sharing is caring 😀

Also tell me which one did you vote and why did you vote.

I suggest you to go out and get that sunset shot and post it. Tag me so that I get to see those beauties.  Thank you for trying it out 🙂

Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.

64 thoughts on “Vote & Learn #4 : Sunsets with mobile phones

    1. haha.. you always loved it 😉 Glad to know that at last you voted the right thing 😀 Congratulations
      Will try to come up with another one in the series. Suggestions are welcome

          1. They are random clicks of flowers, breaking rules of thirds and fourths and what nots! 😛 I will put up some worthwhile ones for public exhibition 😉

  1. I don’t see these cool setting on iPhone, but they’ve developed many fun apps. 😀 I need to pay more attention to WB. The Composition is my suggestion for the future lesson. 😉
    Thank you so much for going through the trouble, cery cool! 🙂

    1. I think when you scroll upward or downward on the camera screen, the exposure will increase or decrease. I remember something like that when I tried it once.
      If you have any image processing software like photoshop, you can adjust the WB after also.
      I did posts on composition already 😉 Remember? Rule of third, curves are awesome etc.?
      Good to know that you enjoyed the post 🙂

      1. Now i see… When you open a photo that you took, you can adj frim there. Thanks!
        Yep, you did! I guess i was in a place that ROT couldn’t apply and too many objects in front of me … The curve post was great! Thank you. 🙂

        1. Yea, everything is easier on iPhone. You don’t have to go to an option and adjust. It is just a flick away!
          Now that you know the rules, start breaking them 😀

  2. Thanks !!!!!!!!!!! I really really needed it, the three words I have heard but was too lazy to do a research, now,I understand 😀 Next time,I am eagerly waiting for a sunset 😀 😀 😀

  3. This is a great tutorial.You explained complex things so easily! Thank you for that. I voted #4 as I thought it’s rightly balanced because the sun is almost on the line of horizon.

      1. I prefer some kind of balance, which sounds ironic given my unbalanced state. No.3 is about near normal, no.2 seems paler than I would imagine a sunset to look like

  4. That was a very informative post!
    Thanks for sharing.
    I voted for the fourth one because it captured the sunset so beautifully with all its hues and glory. 🙂

  5. This could have been written especially for me! Thank you, – went down to my favourite sunset spot and experimented but although better than before. Not happy yet, as I couldn’t find exposure (had no idea there were manual settings on the phone) but now realise it’s called ‘brightness’. But even changing the white balance made a difference. Tried the ‘sunset’ scene setting but this wasn’t very effective. Tomorrow maybe. Anyway, very useful tip, thanks!

    1. Good to know that you instantly tried these tricks out. The sunset settings will be a bit brighter that the manual one, I guess. So did you try it again?

  6. What a valuable lesson I learned from you! I’m guilty to say I never knew how to set anything. I simply click based on whatever I find beautiful….If I don’t like it, then I will try to edit based on what I feel about the image 😛 Thank you very much for the detailed information! 🙂

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