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     Photographing sunrises & sunsets

     
     

    sunrise

     

    Sunrise and sunset can give you some of the most dramatic pictures nature has to offer. Here are some tips on how to capture these visual treasures with ease.

    Turn your sunrise and sunset pictures into beautiful wall art with this fun project.

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    sunset with birdPlace the horizon off center

    • Don't put the horizon in the middle of the frame.
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    • Place the horizon in the bottom third of the frame, and let the sky dominate the scene.
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    • Lower your horizon line and showcase the changing colors of the sky.
       
     
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    Fight the flare

    At sunrise and sunset, the sun is in a near–camera–level position, which can cause sun flare. You can avoid or minimize flare by using:

    • Your hand to block the sun.
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    • A stiff-brimmed hat, which gives more coverage than your hand.
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    • Natural elements, like a tree, give you a spot of shade to place the camera.
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    • A lens hood accessory for your camera.
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    sunset with birdTake advantage of camera settings

    • Use the sunset mode (works the same for sunrise) on your camera. It automatically sets the best focus and exposure (no flash) for your lighting conditions. The white balance (WB) will be set to daylight to capture and keep the warm shift in color balance.
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    • If you have a subject in the foreground of your sunset/sunrise, use the night scene mode (night flash) setting on your camera to illuminate the subject.
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    • Night scene is especially good for taking a picture of a person with the sunset or city lights in the background. Use a tripod or rest your hands on a railing to steady the camera.
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    • Panorama mode—what has more impact than a standard format picture of a sunrise/sunset? A breathtaking panorama of the whole horizon.
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    sunset with birdInclude a silhouette

    Add some depth and perspective to your photos. Turn off your camera's flash option and add a silhouette in the foreground, such as:

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    • A person or people
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    • Rock pinnacles
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    • Looming mountains
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    • Cacti, trees or shrubs
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    • Animals
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    • Sailboats or other watercraft
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    Keep your lens clean

    Dust particles, fingerprints, or other foreign matter can cause considerable lens flare when you include the angle of the rising/setting sun in your pictures.

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    Take your time

    Start early:

    • Take a few test shots to determine which camera settings you like best.
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    • Claim the best location for the show.
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    • Set up your tripod and equipment.
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    • Spot animals and add their silhouettes to your pictures.
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    Stay late:

    • The color of the sky changes minute–by–minute.
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    • If your camera has a timed exposure mode, put your camera on a tripod, do a test shot to get the shot you want, then set the timer to take a picture every 30 seconds, or minutes until the sun goes up/down.
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    sunset with birdCarry a notebook

    In order to log suitable locations for sunrise/sunset pictures, try carrying a notebook with you.

    • Jot down possible sites you find on your journeys.
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    • Include both the month and time of day.
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    • You have a built–in notebook entry for each picture that you take on the details screen on your camera under the "i" information button. All the camera settings used for each picture are listed so you can look up the settings of the picture you liked best and make a note to start there next time.
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    Check the weather

    Weather is of major importance when taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets.

    • Clear days and nights promise colorful sunrises and sunsets.
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    • A sky full of broken clouds makes a spectacular backdrop for your pictures.
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    • Each season has its own characteristic and photographic opportunities – shoot during all four.
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    computer, cameras and softwareEnhance your pictures

    Weather is of major importance when taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets.

    • Turn ordinary sunsets into awesome pictures by enhancing colors and contrast with photo editing software..
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    Gallery productsShare your pictures

    • Turn your photo story into a special wall or tabletop display.
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    • Create greeting cards and online albums.
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    • Put a favorite picture on a mug or T-shirt.