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Tillamook Coast Life Blog

5 tips for capturing the sunset photo of your dreams—even with your phone

She has photographed spectacular sunsets around the world, yet Linda Cook has shot some of her best pictures from Manzanita where she lives and studies the setting sun every day.

“Sunsets happen very quickly so to capture that once-in-a-lifetime image, it takes some preplanning,” said Linda. “I carry cameras, lenses and tripods to get the perfect shot, and I’ve also been known to shoot with my phone.”

She shares her top five tips to those willing to put in the time to create a sunset photo sure to earn bragging rights.

  1. First, arrive at your chosen location well before sunset and plan to stay and shoot for at least 20 minutes after (check weather websites to find out exact sunset time).
  2. Decide where you want to stand, what you want in the foreground and how you’ll pull the viewer into the photograph. “You’re looking for texture and interest such as people, sun rays, reflections, clouds, and, please, never put your horizon in the middle.”
  3. Look for cloud-filled skies. “Broken clouds can make a sunset—they allow the most interesting light,” said Linda.
  4. Start shooting when the sun is beginning to set and once the sun has vanished below the horizon continue shooting for 15-20 minutes to capture the afterglow.  “The sunsets we all remember are actually the afterglow—it’s where the magic occurs filling the entire sky with color.”
  5. Lastly, Linda encourages would-be sunset hunters to experiment, have fun, and watch the sunset with someone you love.

Tillamook Coast Sunset
Tillamook Coast Oregon Sunset
Tillamook Coast gorgeous sunset
Tillamook Coast Sunset

Visit Linda’s website at

Linda Cook

A Picture of Lorraine Ortiz
Lorraine Ortiz
Lorraine Ortiz has made her home at the Art Ranch, in Nehalem on the rural Tillamook Coast for the last 25 years. Her passion for the arts, writing and the environment continue to shape her work and her life choices.