Photographing Sunrise and Sunset

Sunset Photography

Photo by Portland Oregon Photographer Dylan M Howell

For photography of sunset, first of all you have to know the time it is going to set. On the basis of this knowledge, arrive early and take a good look around the place to find out the best position. You start thinking about how you are going to frame your shot. If there is a tree, then you can include this within the composition to act as a silhouette. This will make the photo more interesting. Obviously you don’t want to clutter the picture, so look for a tree that has clearly defined lines.

Take the exposure from the colored part of the sky on either side of the sun.

Whenever you are taking picture of sunset, deliberately underexpose. This will make the colors rich and defined. In this way you can make the whole scene more dramatic. You can do this by using manual mode and selecting a fast shutter speed.

Think about the foreground first.  It would be better for your photograph if there is something like a pond, a house, etc, in the foreground for more depth in the photograph.

When the sky is interesting, place the horizon line at the bottom of the frame and when it is not, place it at the top of the frame.

Do not place the sun in the center as it does not produce a good photograph

If you want to photograph someone against a sunset, then direct him or her not to look at the front as no one will be able to recognize the person.

The main purpose of proper camera settings is to make sure you that you can capture the sunset’s colours as we see. You may have to adjust the exposure to suit the conditions. This is for the reason that in extreme lighting situations, the camera may fail to interpret the scene.

Sunrise Photography

For sunrise, you have to wake up early to see the show before the sun rises. Even when it is just above the horizon, it looks like a big ball of fire.

Your time for taking photograph of a sunrise is much less than the time you get for taking photograph of a sunset.

For sunrise photography use a bit under exposure as used in sunset also.

The sky should have center stage. Place the horizon along the lower third of the frame. While taking the photograph, take it horizontally.

The more photographs you take of sunrises, more you can understand the clouds which help you take a better picture. The clouds which are high would produce more colors.

You should remember that a silhouetted object like palm trees, bridges, lighthouses, etc., in the foreground can add interest to the image on the whole.

Use reflection as much as you can. There is nothing like shooting a sunrise over a calm lake.

The best photographs of sunrises can be taken after a thunderstorm. So, if there is a thunderstorm in the night, get up early in the morning and rush to take an excellent photograph of sunrise.

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