July 2016
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Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 tips (contd..)

When you see some sunrise photos on the internet (or in a magazine, or some friend of your has taken), they can seem spectacular. The colors, the vibrance, all of these make for some great photos. Of course, I do not promise that you will be able to take similar kind of photos, but here are a set of tips that should help you get closer. It is absolutely not necessary that you need to have the latest or greatest cameras or lenses, but it will take some effort and may need some luck (although they say that luck is also a measure of hard work). Read the previous post in this series here (Getting better at taking sunrise photos – 5 Tips (Part 1)). Here are some more tips for the same topic:

Tip 1331 (Look for ambient colored lighting conditions): What does this term mean (ambient colored lighting conditions) mean ? It means that you should try to find a spot where there is a range of different colored lights already present, such as near gaudy motels and hotels, or other such places which will have a range of artificial lights outside. Just around sunrise, the slowly increasing natural diffused yellow light starts to interact with these artificial lights and gives an interesting look. Try it out, it can be fun (and different from the traditional over water or landscapes with sunrise images).

Tip 1332 (Shooting in RAW): This seems to be a tip that is repeated again and again, but if you do any kind of post-processing of your photos in Lightroom or Photoshop, then shooting in RAW is useful, since you get far more details in the photo to play around with. And with digital cards being cheap, you can easily afford to store the larger RAW image sizes.

Tip 1333 (Look at composition): Shooting a sunrise does not mean just shooting the sun only. The effects of the sun’s light spread all around, and the morning sunrise can seem warm and give a slightly golden effect to the photo. You need to check out what all you want to capture in the frame that highlights this light, especially when you are shooting in urban settings or where there are hills and valleys.

Tip 1334 (Learn about Depth of Field and relation to aperture): Depth of field is about the section of the image which is sharp vs. blurred. When you have a landscape, if you have a large Depth of Field, it means larger sections of the image will be sharp. A smaller Depth of field means that a much smaller section of the image will be sharp (and when we say section of the image, we mean in terms of distance from the camera; so with shallow depth of field, a single tree might be sharp, but with a large Depth of Field, many trees before and after the single tree will also be sharp). Varying the aperture can change the Depth of Field you are getting.

Tip 1335 (Just before the sun actually rises): Sunrise just does not mean the precise point when the sun starts to break up over the horizon. It is a much more poetic definition ! – the time when the colors of the morning start to streak the sky upto the point where the sun is sufficiently up that the colors start to get drab. Look and experiment with different time points during this movement of the sun to see when you can get the best colors – and this depends on clouds, weather, and other factors.

Zen and the Art of the Sunrise The Digital Photography Book

Some videos for sunrise photography:

How to take sunrise and sunset pictures

Jim Zuckerman photographs Portland Head Light at Sunrise

Photography Tips: Shooting Water at Sunrise

How To Photograph Sunrise for Beginners – Tutorial

General Tips on Sunrise and Sunset Photography

Read the next post in the series (Taking some great sunrise photos (link))

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