Two drone quad copters with high resolution digital camera flying aerial over spectacular sunset orange sky.

Tips for Stunning Drone Shots After Sunset

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

If you want to work on capturing the most beautiful photos you can, you need to prepare properly. So, let’s explore the most useful tips for stunning drone shots after sunset so you can improve your skills and your shoot results!

Selecting the right gear:

Picking out the right gear will make capturing stunning drone shots after sunset much easier.

As such, investing in a high-quality drone is the first step in building your sunset photography kit. Look for drones with advanced camera capabilities, such as larger sensors and adjustable aperture settings! These features enable you to capture clear, detailed images even as the light fades.

Among the top choices for sunset photography are drones like the DJI Mavic Air 2 and Autel Robotics EVO II. These drones are equipped to handle low-light conditions with ease, allowing you to capture sharp, vibrant images during sunset flights.

In addition to the drone itself, consider investing in drone accessories that can enhance your photography experience. For example, ND (neutral density) filters help control exposure levels, allowing you to achieve balanced and well-exposed shots even in challenging lighting situations.

Adjustable camera settings are also essential for fine-tuning your shots during sunset flights. So, opt for drones with manual control over ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. This would let you adapt to changing lighting conditions and achieve the desired effect in your photographs.

Lastly, consider drones equipped with obstacle avoidance technology, especially if you’re flying in challenging environments. These safety features help prevent collisions and guarantee smooth, worry-free flights, allowing you to focus on capturing breathtaking sunset scenes.

Items that benefit from creative solutions for organizing drone accessories

Mastering camera settings:

Improving your knowledge of camera settings is a great way to improve your drone skills and capture stunning sunset photographs. Adjusting ISO, shutter speed, and aperture settings allows you to adapt to changing light conditions during flights. By mastering these settings, you can ensure your images are properly exposed and free from motion blur.

Sensitivity to light:

ISO controls the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light. Therefore, during sunset, you may need to increase the ISO to capture enough light. However, be cautious, as higher ISO settings can introduce graininess or noise into your images!

Shutter speed:

Shutter speed determines how long your camera’s shutter remains open, affecting how much light reaches the sensor. In low-light conditions, a slower shutter speed may be necessary to allow enough light to enter the camera. Still, be mindful of potential motion blur, especially if there is movement in your scene.

The aperture:

The aperture, the size of the opening in your camera’s lens, is also important for controlling exposure and depth of field. During sunset photography, consider using a wider aperture (lower f-stop number) to let in more light and achieve a shallower depth of field, resulting in a beautifully blurred background.

Manual mode:

Utilizing manual mode gives you full control over these settings. This would let you fine-tune your exposure and achieve the desired creative effects! Of course, experimenting with different combinations of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture will help you better understand how each setting affects your final image.

In turn, you’ll be able to improve and grow as a photographer!

Planning your shoot:

Putting effort into organizing your shoot is the only way to guarantee successful sunset photography. So, before embarking on your shoot, take the time to carefully plan and prepare for the journey ahead:

  1. Start by scouting potential shooting locations during daylight hours. Look for vantage points that offer unobstructed views of the sunset and interesting foreground elements to enhance your compositions! Consider factors such as elevation, proximity to water, and the presence of unique landmarks or natural features!
  2. Use online tools and mobile apps to research sunset timing and weather forecasts for your chosen shooting location. Knowing the precise timing of sunset and any potential weather changes will help you plan your shoot more effectively!
  3. Safety should always be a top priority when planning a sunset drone shoot. As such, familiarize yourself with local regulations and airspace restrictions.
  4. You should have the necessary permits or permissions to fly your drone in the area! Be mindful of potential hazards like power lines, tall buildings, or crowded spaces, and plan your flight path accordingly.
  5. Consider the logistical aspects of your shoot. Make sure your drone batteries are fully charged, and pack spare batteries and memory cards to avoid running out of power or storage space mid-flight. Bring along any necessary accessories, such as ND filters, lens cloths, and sunshades, to ensure you’re prepared for any shooting conditions.
  6. Plan to arrive at your shooting location well before sunset to allow ample time for setup and preparation. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the surroundings, test your equipment, and make any necessary adjustments.

Composition techniques:

Whether you’re capturing a stunning landscape or a mesmerizing cityscape, employing effective composition techniques can elevate your images.

The rule of thirds:

Imagine dividing your frame into a grid of nine equal parts, with two horizontal and two vertical lines intersecting. Positioning key elements of your scene along these grid lines or at the points of intersection can create a sense of balance and visual interest.

The rule of thirds

Leading lines:

These lines within your image lead the viewer’s eye toward a focal point or subject. Whether it’s a winding road, a meandering river, or a row of buildings, incorporating leading lines into your composition can add depth and guide the viewer’s gaze through the image.


Incorporating foreground elements is another effective technique for adding depth and dimension to your sunset drone photographs. By including objects or elements in the foreground of your shot, such as rocks, trees, or buildings, you can create a sense of scale and perspective, drawing the viewer into the scene and adding visual interest.


Controlling with angles and perspectives is also key to creating dynamic and engaging compositions. So, don’t be afraid to tilt or rotate your drone to find unique vantage points and viewpoints that highlight the beauty of the sunset and the surrounding landscape! Changing your perspective can often result in unexpected and visually striking compositions.

A moody and beautiful shot of a city skyline

With the right technique, you set the tone and mood of your photos!

Embracing silhouettes:

Incorporating silhouettes in your sunset drone photography can add drama and intrigue to your images.

Silhouettes are a powerful compositional technique that can create striking and memorable images. You can create bold and graphic shapes by positioning your subject against the bright, colorful backdrop of the sunset. Whether it’s a lone tree, a group of people, or a dramatic skyline, silhouettes can add a sense of mystery!

To capture compelling silhouettes, you need to expose the bright background of the sunset rather than the darker foreground. This typically means using spot metering or manual exposure mode to ensure that the sky is properly exposed while the subject remains in shadow.

Additionally, consider using a lower ISO setting to minimize noise and maintain image quality in the darker areas of photographs.

Incorporating shadows:

Rather than viewing shadows as obstacles to be avoided, consider them as opportunities to enhance the mood and atmosphere! They can be used to add depth and texture to your sunset drone photographs. Rather than trying to eliminate shadows entirely, embrace them as natural elements that contribute to the overall composition.

You should try to pay attention to how the setting sun casts long, dramatic shadows across the landscape! Then, use these shadows to create contrast and visual interest in your photographs.

Enhancing colors:

Working with colors in your sunset drone photography can let you create vibrant and impactful images and can make your sunset photographs really stand out!

One of the most effective ways to enhance colors in your sunset drone photographs is by adjusting the white balance. This setting allows you to control the overall color temperature of your image, making it warmer or cooler. This way, you can effectively match the mood and atmosphere of the scene. For sunset photography, consider increasing the warmth to enhance the golden hues of the setting sun and create more vibrancy.

In addition to adjusting white balance, you can also use saturation and vibrance adjustments to boost the intensity of colors.

Saturation controls the overall intensity of all colors in the image. Meanwhile, vibrance targets specific colors that may need a little extra boost. By carefully adjusting these settings, you can make the colors in your sunset photographs pop and come to life.

Boosting contrast:

Contrast is another crucial element in sunset photography, as it helps to define the shapes and textures in your image. In turn, you can create a sense of depth and dimension.

Increasing contrast can make the colors in your sunset photographs appear more vibrant and dynamic. Of course, decreasing contrast can create a softer, more ethereal look. So, experiment with different levels of contrast to find the perfect balance for your sunset photographs!

Still, it’s important to exercise restraint and avoid over-editing when enhancing colors and contrast. While it can be tempting to crank up the saturation and contrast, doing so can result in unnatural-looking photographs. They would also lack subtlety and depth, too! Instead, strive for a balanced approach that enhances the natural beauty of the scene while preserving its authenticity and integrity.

 A shot of a city panorama with saturated blue colors

Playing with colors and contracts can make your shots look more ‘ethereal’ and captivating.

Creative light painting:

Light painting involves using handheld light sources, such as flashlights or LED wands, to “paint” light onto your subject or scene during a long exposure. This technique allows you to add interesting patterns, shapes, and textures to your photographs, creating dynamic and visually striking images.

One of the key benefits of light painting is its versatility. Whether you’re illuminating a tree against a colorful sunset sky or tracing the outline of a building with light, you have many options! Therefore, experiment with different light sources, colors, and movements to create unique and captivating effects that reflect your personal style. Here is how to go about it:

  • Find a suitable location with minimal light pollution and a clear view of the sky.
  • Set up your drone and camera equipment, making sure you’re ready to capture long-exposure shots.
  • Once you’re ready to begin shooting, try out different light painting techniques to see what works best for your scene. Try moving the light source in sweeping arcs or circular motions to create abstract patterns. Or use it to highlight specific areas of interest within the frame!
  • As you become more comfortable with light painting, don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of creativity and experimentation. Combine light painting with other compositional techniques, like silhouettes or leading lines, to create truly unique and visually stunning images!

Experimenting with long exposures:

Long exposures allow you to capture mesmerizing light trails, smooth water effects, and ethereal landscapes that evoke wonder and awe, creating stunning drone shots after sunset.

You do this by extending the exposure time of your camera to capture the subtle movements and transitions of light and motion that occur during the golden hour, transforming ordinary scenes into extraordinary works of art.

One of the most popular subjects for long-exposure photography during sunset is capturing light trails. Whether it’s the headlights of cars streaking across a bridge or the movement of stars across the night sky, long exposures can create captivating images that convey a sense of motion and energy.

To capture light trails, set your camera to a long exposure time and hover settings to keep it steady. Experiment with different shutter speeds to achieve the desired effect, and consider using a remote shutter release to minimize shake.

Water effects:

In addition to capturing light trails, long exposures can also be used to create smooth, silky water effects. By slowing down the shutter speed, you can blur the movement of water, creating a dreamy, surreal effect. From there, work on different exposure times and compositions to find the perfect balance between capturing motion and retaining detail.

When working on long exposures, you need to consider factors like camera stability, exposure settings, and composition. Use auto stability features to keep your drone steady during long exposure shots, and pay attention to your camera’s exposure settings to get proper exposure and focus. What’s more, consider the composition of your image and how the long exposure will affect the overall look and feel!

Long exposure used to take a photo of a highway

Long exposure can produce some fascinating and stunning drone shots after sunset!

Different uses of your after-sunset shoot:

Nighttime cityscapes:

Capture stunning aerial views of city skylines illuminated by city lights. The contrast between the darkness of the night and the vibrant city lights can create captivating imagery.

Event coverage:

Drones can capture aerial footage of events or gatherings that extend into the evening, such as outdoor concerts, festivals, or fireworks displays. The unique perspective offered by drone shots can enhance event coverage and provide a memorable visual experience.

Nighttime surveillance:

In certain situations, drones equipped with infrared or low-light cameras can be used for surveillance or monitoring purposes after sunset. This could include security patrols of large outdoor areas or monitoring wildlife activity in natural habitats at night.

Film production:

Filmmakers and videographers may use drone shots after sunset to add dramatic or atmospheric elements to their productions. Whether capturing nighttime scenes for a movie or creating mood-setting shots for a music video, drones offer filmmakers a versatile tool for creative expression, even in low-light conditions.

Scouting locations for your new home:

Drones offer a significant advantage when scouting locations for your new home. With high-resolution cameras and night vision, they provide a bird’s-eye view that reveals neighborhood details less visible at night, such as lighting, safety features, and ambiance.

Drones can assess layouts and spot potential risks like flood-prone areas or dense vegetation, aiding in well-informed decisions even in low-light conditions.

Once you’ve identified the perfect location using drone technology, you can focus on the next steps, like selecting a reliable moving company. To make sure your relocation is safe and flawless until the end, you can rely on Verified Movers Reviews, a platform that connects users with highly rated moving companies. They can help you find top-rated movers, ensuring a seamless transition to your new home.

While working on your stunning drone shots after sunset, you must account for safety precautions and legal considerations. By prioritizing safety and adhering to regulations, you can protect yourself, others, and your equipment while capturing stunning aerial images!

One of the first safety precautions is familiarizing yourself with your drone’s operation and safety features. Read the user manual thoroughly, practice flying in open areas away from obstacles, and understand how to control your drone in various situations.

Before each flight, conduct a pre-flight check of your drone and equipment to make sure everything is working. Check the battery levels, propellers, and camera settings, and be sure that your drone is free from any damage or defects that could affect its performance!

When flying your drone during sunset, be mindful of your surroundings and potential hazards. Avoid flying near airports, crowded areas, or restricted airspace, and always maintain a safe distance from people, buildings, and vehicles.

Be aware of any legal considerations and regulations that may apply to drone photography in your area, including any restrictions on flying near sensitive locations or during certain times of day!

For example, flying a drone over a stadium during a sporting event may be prohibited due to safety concerns and privacy considerations. So, always research and abide by any relevant regulations to avoid fines or legal consequences.

Making stunning drone shots after sunset:

With these tips for stunning drone shots after sunset, you’re well-equipped to approach your shoot with confidence and creativity. We know that you’ll be able to capture breathtaking images that showcase the beauty of your chosen subject right! So, let your creativity out, and consider sharing the results to get feedback and the praise you deserve.


Article Name
Tips for Stunning Drone Shots After Sunset
Here are some useful tips which will help you take some stunning shots after sunset.
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Remoteflyer Private Limited
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2 thoughts on “Tips for Stunning Drone Shots After Sunset”

  1. Thank you for sharing such an insightful and well-written article. I appreciate the thorough research and clear presentation of the topic. Your ability to break down complex concepts into easily understandable information is impressive and beneficial for readers. I look forward to reading more of your content and learning from your expertise. Keep up the great work!

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