If you’re a beginner, a sunrise can be a great subject because you can basically take a crack at it every day if your first shot doesn’t work out. For more experienced shutterbugs, a sunrise can be a challenging sight that brings out the best of their creative eye.
Seeking to turn the sunrise into your next photography subject? Take these 10 tips and tricks with you to get the best of your efforts.
10 Sunrise Photography Tips for Top Notch Pics
- Pay Your Location a Pre-Shoot Visit
If you’re really invested in taking the best sunrise photograph, you should make it a point to visit your location first. If you can make it there before the crack of dawn, you can find out just how the sunrise moves across the landscape so you can get a better idea of where to start.
During this visit, you should try to figure out the most interesting points for your little project. Consider flora, fauna, structures, and other objects that could potentially add an artful touch to your composition. Things like park benches, distant buildings, trees, and yes, even weeds can all make for a better picture.
- Choose the Right Lens
Different lenses will give you different results – that’s basic knowledge in photography. But these changes will become much more apparent when you’re trying to take a photograph of something as distinct as the sun.
Lenses with an f-stop value of around f/11 are often the lens of choice for bright subjects because they can quell brightness to prevent a burnt image. So lenses like the or anything similar can be a great choice for the task.
- Bring the Right Gear
You probably wouldn’t have thought of it right off the bat, but your camera and lens aren’t the only things you need to get a decent sunset photo. For instance, when using a lens with a large aperture, your shutter speed might suffer and slow down. So you might need something to keep your camera steady as it tries to process the image.
A could be a great companion to help you keep your images distortion and noise-free. If you’re shooting on a beach or a landscape with uneven terrain, water resistant tripods with sturdy legs should fit your fancy.
- Tweak Your Camera Settings
In any case, if you want to take professional-level photographs, you should come equipped with a top notch device. For the purpose of sunrise photography, the could be a very reliable camera model. If you don’t have a DSLR in handy, a mirrorless camera could be another worthy pick.
These devices should give you better results because they offer more customizable settings. There really is not rule when it comes to deciding the right settings. As with any other photography task, beauty ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder. So experiment with your settings until you find the right aesthetic that suits your preference.
- Experiment with Asymmetry
Having your sunrise right smack in the middle of your shot might not give you the dramatic effect you’re looking for. The same goes for your horizon, or any other focal point you might want to have in your shot. Yes, symmetry can be very boring and uninteresting in most cases. So it’s always worth experimenting with asymmetry.
The rule of thirds should be your guide when it comes to this sunrise photography concept. To make it easier for you, turn on your screen’s guidelines and align your main focal point to one of the two vertical lines that appear on the screen. This will offset it just enough to add a more artistic touch to your capture.
- Explore Your Macro
People who first explore sunrise photography go for the obvious, so wide-angle shots are often the first thing we go for. But once you’ve explored all the possibilities with wide-angle shots, you might start to find them repetitive and cliché.
To add a touch of unique aesthetic to your sunrise shots, consider exploring the opportunities with a . You can start off by finding some tall weeds that you can focus on with your macro, and leverage the sunrise to create a beautifully dramatic bokeh. You can also experiment with a number of other foreground focal points like flowers, scattered tree leaves, and even a woman’s flowing hair wafting in the wind.
7. Take More Than One Shot
You’d be surprised at just how fast the sun can move across the sky. So if you think that you’ve already got a good shot, you should consider sticking around to see just how the view can change if you wait a little longer.
If you’ve ever seen any of those breathtaking sunrise shots, the artist behind the lens would tell you that they probably took all morning to take. Spending your time on site is probably one of the most common sunrise photography tips you’ll hear from the pros, so it’s always a good idea to wait out the entire sunrise to get the best shot.
8. Find Other Viable Focal Points
Just because you’re trying to take a picture of the sunrise, doesn’t mean your camera should be pointed dead straight at it at all times. In fact, some of the best sunrise photographs don’t actually have the sun in them at all.
Look around you and see how the sunrise changes the terrain. The way the light hits the landscape can be a great subject for your little project, giving your viewers an image that tells a story instead of simply using the sun’s radiant glow as it is. This way, you can come up with a collection of different photographs that taps different areas of your creativity – all in one morning.