All of us have seen beautiful sunset and sunrise photos. The colors and the warmth of such photographs are what make them look so magnificent. Such photographs are not very difficult to achieve. Here are a few tips which will help you take stunning images of sunrises and sunsets.
Timing is a vital factor in photographing sunrises and sunsets. It is important to know when the sun will rise or set, find out about it from the newspaper or you can check it here on the internet.
It is important that you arrive on your location early. This will give you time to inspect the surroundings and to look for a spot to photograph the sight from. Try to visualize how your shot is going to be before it all starts.
Another reason why it is recommended to arrive at least an hour early is because of what is known as the magic hour or the golden hour. It is the first and the last hour of sunlight in the day, which results in dramatic lighting of the sky, helping you to create beautiful images.
Stay Late: Many photographers pack up their equipment and leave as soon as the sun rises or sets. But you can get stunning shots of the sky even after this. Clouds change colors every minute. Twilight after a sunset looks beautiful. It can be a beautiful photographic opportunity if you hang on at the spot for a couple of minutes longer. Don’t miss it!
To take good sunrise and sunset photographs, you need minimum photographic equipment. All you need is:
• a Camera
• a sturdy Tripod or a place to set your camera.
Set up your camera
• Exposure: Instead of shooting in auto mode, switch to aperture or shutter priority mode. The best thing about shooting sunsets and sunrises is that there is nothing like a ‘proper exposure’ and you can get stunning shots using a variety of them. When you point your camera towards the sun, it fools your camera and the picture is under-exposed, the good thing is underexposed shots of sunrise and sunset can look pretty good.
Using different exposures will create different kinds of images each time, so take many shots.
• ISO: Set your ISO to the lowest. The sky during sunrise and sunset is bright enough to shoot with a low ISO.
Any noise in the image would surely show up during post-processing of an under-exposed image, hence, it is recommended to shoot in low ISO to avoid this.
• White Balance: Switch off the ‘Auto’ in the camera’s white balance and try shooting in ‘cloudy’ or ‘shade’ modes. Auto mode sees too much of red and tries to balance it out, you might lose the colors and the warm golden tones of the sunrise and the sunset.
In case you want to have cooler tones in your picture, you can experiment shooting in the auto mode and with other white balance settings.
Keep the following rules of composition in your mind and see how you can use them creatively while shooting.
• Rule of Thirds: You can use the ‘rule of thirds’ to compose your image. It suggests that the subject or any major part of the image should be placed in one of the areas dividing the frame into thirds. This can be from either edge of your frame. Try avoiding placing the horizon directly in the middle of the frame, dividing it into two equal halves. If you lower the horizon to the lower third of the frame, it will give more emphasis to the sky.
However, you can always break this rule. Do not limit yourself to this rule. Experiment with different compositions and angles, see what looks best and capture the image.
• Introduce elements in the foreground and use silhouettes. Introducing elements like trees, hills, and people adds to the perspective and makes your photo more interesting.
• The reflection of sunlight on the clouds can create really dramatic images. Look for interesting shapes and take plenty of images from different angles and perspective.
Next time you decide to photograph the sunrise or sunset, keep all of these points in your mind and use them creatively and you will achieve great looking photographs.