The sun rises and sets each day but despite the repetitive cycle, each one is different from the other. As such, trying to capture today’s sunrise might not yield the same results tomorrow; the same goes for sunsets. Knowing this makes it worth capturing the event every single day.
While it’s easy to say you want to capture the sun rising or setting, it takes effort and a lot of practice to produce a stunning photo. The sunrise and sunset photography tips presented here can help you out.
Although you will hear advice about your gear not mattering at all, some items can help you take better shots. So apart from your camera, here are other equipment for shooting sunrises and sunsets:
- wide-angle lens – This allows you to get more elements into the frame. Keep in mind that the sun doesn’t always have to be the star of your sunrise or sunset photos.
- tripod – A lot of new cameras are good low-light performers, making it easier to shoot hand-held without worrying about camera shake. However, not everyone owns a camera like that and this is where tripods come to the rescue. Not only that, a tripod allows you to create more creative photos.
Shooting Sunrise and Sunsets
The rising of the sun and its setting don’t last the entire day. You basically only have a few minutes to capture the shot you want, and you have to prepare yourself for disappointment. But the key here is to constantly practice so you get a hang of things.
Here are some tips to help you out:
- Consider the location
It’s tempting to pick a convenient location for shooting a sunrise or sunset. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you’re missing out on lots of photographic opportunities by just sticking to a familiar location. Heading to the seaside, an open field, or high up to the mountain each offer something different.
Once you’ve decided on a location, check on the sunset and sunrise times so you can get there ahead of schedule. This way, you can shoot a few practice shots before the main show begins. Arriving early can also give you ideas on what to incorporate into your shot.
Given that sunrises and sunsets look different each day and can be affected by the weather, it makes sense to revisit locations to get different shots from just one location.
- Use the right settings
Some of the best sunrise and sunset photos include much more than just the light coming from the sun. For instance, a beach setting can include the sand, people, cliffs, and even animals.
It’s best if you shoot in manual mode. This way, you have way more control over the resulting image.
Start with a small aperture like F11 then adjust accordingly. A tripod will come in handy in case lighting conditions aren’t optimal.
Adjust the shutter speed accordingly depending on how fast or slow a subject or something part of the scene is moving.
Once you’ve got the main shot down, play with the settings to produce more creative shots. Again, a tripod can help if you want long exposures.
- Check the White Balance
Take your camera out of the Auto White Balance Mode. Sunrise and sunsets produce warm, golden tones and as such, you’re better off using “Cloudy” or “Shade.” You can also experiment with the other White Balance options.
- Shoot in RAW
Yes, the files will be huge but it’s much easier to correct issues that may have arisen during the shoot when more detail is preserved.
Each day brings with it a different kind of sunrise and sunset. Keep these tips in mind as you head out to capture the event.