Every photographer dreams of photographing a spectacular sunset. The sky can fill with the most amazing colors even after the sun has set. Setting the right exposure can be tricky and automatic settings on your camera will probably not help. Be prepared to adjust your settings in manual so you can capture that beautiful sunset. If you are not aware of which cloud formations are conducive to beautiful sunsets, it helps to do a little homework so you don't waste time on a boring sunset.
Also, you have to work fast because the final minutes of a sunset are when you will get your best shots. The sun descends at such a rapid rate that you can actually see it move, so every second counts.
And, if you are not aware that you shouldn't just take a direct reading with your meter, you will end up severely under-exposed because the sun is aimed directly at your meter. You must open up at least two to three stops in order to get proper exposure on the clouds and water where the light, that gets to the film, is a lot weaker.
This photo is an example of one option a photographer can choose when shooting a sunset. Here the photographer has chosen to have the water and clouds exposed properly while living the people underexposed and creating silhouettes.