Sunset photo graphy fascinates a lot of people because of the rich colors and warm tones they usually offer. One cool rule in shooting sunrise and sunset is to keep in mind that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. We're quite lucky to have our Manila Bay on the west where the sun sets on the bay horizon.
Photo graphing sunsets can be tricky because the scene you may want to capture fades away in a blink of an eye, so an early preparation and set up of equipment is very much advisable. Perhaps, the best lens to shoot with is a tele-zoom lens with a range of at least 200mm on the far end of the zoom if you want to make the sun a bigger piece of object in your photo. When shooting with telephotos, tripod can be useful to eliminate or minimize blur.
With the advent of digital cameras where you can preview your shots, exposure settings can easily be had. I shoot sunsets before, during and after the sun appears on the horizon. In most cases, spectacular sunset shots can be had after the sun had already disappeared in the horizon. A good example of this is my photo of yachts below where the sky casts a visually appealing tone on the waters. Sunset shots taken before the sun appears in the sky are equally magnificent too and a good example of this are the first two photos above.
I occasionally under expose my sunset shots because of the over powering light of the scene. Since the sunlight may become so bright and dominant, don't stare at the sun for quite too long using your viewfinder to avoid any eye problem. I usually meter and adjust my settings in the manual mode with two to three stops underexposure either on the aperture or shutter controls but always choose a small aperture to achieve a more expansive depth of field. To add spice to a sunset shot, it also wise to frame some silhouetted figures such as boats, buildings, bridges, people or trees to impart a better scale, depth and perspective on the photo.
Another cool rule when taking sunset shots is never divide your photo in the middle. Either you emphasize the sky or the foreground but do not place the division in the middle. As you may see on the examples I've posted, emphasis is either given on the sky or on the waters depending on what you want to achieve. Sunset shots should either accentuate the colors of the sky or the reflections on the waters or both.