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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 1336 (Need to be quick): When you compare sunrise and sunsets, there is a clear distinction in terms of time available. A sunset can provide vivid colors before and after the sun has set, for more than 30 minutes. However, it is very rare that sunrise provides this amount of time; and if you are waiting for the actual orb of the sun to show up in sunrise, then be warned that the time frame after this when you can get some great photos of the soft light of the sun is very short. Try it out a few times, and you will get much experience of the time frame in which you get the kind of light you desire.

Tip 1337 (Look for water and reflection): Water provides some great reflection of the creeping light of the sun (whether this be sunrise or sunset). Think back about the times when you have a great lake or river or water off a beach looking like a yellow sheet of flame due to the light of the rising sun and how great the photo looks. So, where possible, see whether you can position yourself near a water body and try to get the sunrise to reflect off the water (which means that buildings or a hill should not be between the direction of the rising sun and the water body).

Tip 1338 (Caring for your eyes): Even when full of enthusiasm, be sure that you are taking care of your eyes. When the sun starts peeking over the horizon at sunrise, there is a tendency to try and capture the sun, the light, and everything around. However, even though the sun is early in the day, it is still advised to be careful about looking at the sun directly, and even more, through the lens of a camera. Be careful in your enthusiasm that you don’t do something that could harm your eyes.

Tip 1339 (If the weather is stormy): While taking all precautions about bad weather and all, be advised that the end of a storm, if anytime before sunrise, provides some great opportunities for great photos. Keep an umbrella and water proofing for the camera and other equipment, but the clouds in the air provide a great base on which the light of the emerging sun provides some great colors. In some cases, with the right conditions and with luck, can get some spectacular images. However, I repeat, you need to be careful – don’t step when you have a hurricane or some major storm ongoing, the risk is not worth it.

Tip 1340 (Different exposures): To some people, HDR is a bad word. However, if capture the images of the rising sun using different exposures, you get details of the darker and lighter parts of the scene, much more than if you were taking only one photo. Take multiple such photos and combine them using some program to combine multiple exposure images, and you can get a great HDR image of the sunrise.

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




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