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Thread: Sunrise and sunsets

  1. #1
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    Sunrise and sunsets

    This is a very popular subject to photograph and it’s easy to understand why. In my truck driving days I use to love the sunrise; it’s usually different most mornings, but more importantly, I got through a long hard night in one piece, but it was so much better when there was some broken cloud for the sun to light up.

    Sunnies, as I call them, are actually one of the easiest; or should be one of the easier photos to take, but there a couple of tricks and you don’t need any special cameras or filters, although a solid camera rest is important.

    We will deal mainly with sunsets: The big mistake most make is they photograph too early and pack up to early

    THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOUR WILL GENERALLY HAPPEN
    ABOUT TEN TO FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER THE
    SUN SETS BELOW THE HORIZON.



    The better sunset photos will be taken because you just happen to be out there with the camera; but there things to look for that will tell there maybe a sunny that evening. Those wonderful colours happen because the sun is shining from below the horizon onto the underside of the cloud and broken high level cloud is the best for a colourful sunny.

    If you are really keen, you will start to take more notice of weather reports and log onto the internet weather sites more often to check out the satellite maps. You will start to watch clouds and observe what they do. Most weather patterns travel west to east.

    If you feel there is a sunny coming on you need to be set up 15-20 minutes before the sun set. Knowing where the sun will set is also helpful and it does not set at the same spot at same time every day of the year. Sunsets/rises move; and the further south you are the more they move.

    The gear does not matter that much; a P+S will do; but as the best photos will be taken after sunset so a tripod or a solid camera rest will be required. I usually set the camera to manual and bracket most photos although AV will do with most DSLRs>>sometimes it helpful to set to manual focus>>I focus and then turn it off.

    This is the big mistake: most take photos with the big bright sun in the photo>> IT USALLY DOES NOT WORK. The camera can not record what you see.
    Again:
    THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHIC COLOUR WILL GENERALLY HAPPEN ABOUT TEN TO FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER THE SUN SETS BELOW THE HORIZON.

    However; if the sun sets behind a medium to heavy cloud, there is a very good chance that the cloud will block the sun’s rays from getting onto the underside of the cloud, but don’t pack up; WAIT UNTIL IT IS DARK. I have seen it and I have done it; that is packing up to early; it all goes dark and gloomy as the sun sets below the horizon so everyone cries and packs up. But the sun has to get down further so the rays hit the under side of the clouds. SO WAIT.

    And don’t just look to the west [that’s roughly where the sun sets]; look around and behind you also. There is often wonderful colour there also

    Sunrises happen 10-15 minutes before the sun comes over the horizon, and generally after the sun comes over the horizon its all over.

    And that is all there is to photograph a good colourful sunny; some luck; some planning and some patents.





    I would hope others will add their tips for taking a better sunrise/set photo.

    LOL the first image is one of the best sunest I have taken; but the folder disappeared from my hard drive. All I have is this very small file. Yeah I know; back up ya stuff ya mug
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Thats a pretty good guide Ian. I might suggest also during the daylight hours, have a drive around, and suss out some good spots. Water bodies are always fantastic places for both sunrises and sunsets as the reflections and colours can be stunning. I also find places with trees, windmills, sheds and pretty much anything on tops of hills can provide a good silouhette. This time of the day is also good for general landscape shots as the golden light can turn things magical in an instance.

    Biggest tip though, try and stay around ISO 100 or there abouts so as to limit the noise introduced into the picture.

    Stunning shots too Ian BTW, love the last one with the water
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  3. #3
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    great info Ian. Thanks for doing that. Hard to beat a great sunrise or set.
    Graeme
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    soooo many good ones here Ian, hard to choose ...seems like a hotel buffet table with too many goodies to eat! They are all lovely but I like the orange raddish ones with lots of clouds

    einesonne

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    Thanks for that thoroughly helpful advice!
    I often see the sunset just as I'm leaving work and wish I had my camera, but I think I need to suss out a good vantage point without lots of power poles in the way.

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    Great info Ian, and I would like to add that sunset and sunrise photography can quite often benefit from using the Rule of Thirds. A good sunset/sunrise photo will generally have foreground interest as well. A shot of the sky and the tops of the trees, often is not as visually appealing as a shot that contains some terra firma, especially if that includes something that adds a nice leading line (fence, road, rocky outcrop into the sea, etc).
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  7. #7
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    Thankyou for this informative thread Ian, and thanks to the others who have added information as well.
    These days we wait, and wait, but I am sure lots of people make the mistake of leaving a sunset too early, or getting to a sunrise too late.

    It is such a shame you lost the folder with that first photo in, Ian. It is an incredible photo.

    The main tip I have is to look around you, and look to the sky often. So often a "boring" sky will light up very briefly, and if you are not watching closely, you miss it. Through experience last winter we learned not to let a seemingly plain pre dawn sky and sub zero temps keep you from setting up the camera- we missed an absolutely STUNNING sunrise because we wimped out.... oh well, we won't do that again.
    Please keep the tips coming.
    Di
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    I'm a sucker for a good sunrise/sunset so theres some really invaluable info there Ian. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

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    great write up... this is definately something i want to take mroe photos of...
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    Great info Ian. I usually check the weather for dusk/dawn set time then I plan to go to the nice location by an hour before the set time. I have time to find a good spot then settle down and get ready from the magic moment.

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    Great info Ian, very helpful. Some breath taking shots
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    Ian, I've found the best colours usually happen just after I've put the camera away! But that is a good guide.
    Odille

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    Ian, thanks so much for sharing your expertise and great photos. 'sunnies' are one of my favourite things to photograph so i look forward to practising some of your tips.
    Totally agree with the 10 to 15 mins thing too, amazing how quickly the sky can change from beautiful to amazing!

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    Good tips, Ian. Thanks for sharing. Great photos. I love sunset photography. Harder, or should I say, rarer for me to get the good sunrise shots!
    Pam

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    the other day at sunset time there was a beautifully lit sky in the east, so i completely understand what you are saying about looking all around you
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    Thank you very much for this guide, it is much appreciated.
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    Thank you Ian for the post and thanks to all others who have commented. Some really usefull information.

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    first day here and first post i read. Thanks heaps for that. Instantly im seeing good tips that i know will benefit

    awsome photos by the way.

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    fantastic photos and some really helpful advice. we've not long moved house so need to find some places to escape the toddler and set up for a while to see what i can come up with

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    Nice guide there mate!

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