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Photography Tips to Capture Breath-Taking Frames of a Sunrise

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Who doesn’t love watching sunrises? It is that time of the day when most of the people are sleeping and there is a different beauty in the silence around. You are free to discover so many new things, find out what you love and find out yourself. Everything from the sky to the landscapes looks stunning. It is one of the best times to capture brilliant nature shots. Get pictures that will speak volumes of the beauty around us!

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There are so many things around that you can capture. You can click moments just before a sunrise or a flock of birds flying away to start their day. You can shoot the morning dew on a flower or someone doing their morning yoga. In a short time, before you miss that golden moment of capturing a sunrise, you can click countless beautiful images.

What is Sunrise Photography?

In simple words, sunrise photography is nothing but capturing pictures of the sun when it begins to rise. The photos captured are stunning and the experience is one that you can cherish forever.

You do not have to be a professional to capture a perfect sunrise. But you need to have good skills. There are a lot of Photography courses available, so you can get guided by experts and learn amazing techniques. You will know how to set your camera, what lens to use, the right time to capture and a lot more!

Apart from the various beauties of nature you can capture moments before and after the sunrise too like the blue and the golden hour.

The Blue Hour & Photography

The moment of twilight that happens when the sun is below the horizon but its light indirectly tinges the sky in a stunning shade of blue is called the ‘blue hour’. It usually happens just a few minutes before the sunrise. This is considered to be one of the best times to click beautiful stunning images of the skyline, a cityscape, any landscape or seascape.

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As there are extremely low-light conditions during this time, the best idea is to use a tripod and take multiple shots with longer exposures. You will have to raise your ISO to maintain an appropriate aperture and shutter speed when shooting between ISO 100 to 400. Try starting with an aperture of around f/4 to f/8. To achieve a shutter speed of between 2 to 10 seconds, you will have to experiment with your ISO settings, so it is better that you start at ISO 100 and take it ahead.

The Golden Hour & Photography

The period of time when the sun is just above the horizon and the sky has hues of red, orange and gold is known as the ‘golden hour’. The light during this time is a bit softer than at actual sunrise and has fewer shadows. You should keep shooting with ISO 100 and a closed aperture. The amount of light in the sky will make you use GND filters to balance the exposure, while neutral density filters will help you achieve long exposure effects.

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Experts during Photography classes advice that when you go through the images that you are clicking at the sunrise you shouldn’t completely rely on what you see on the back of your camera. Your eyes are adjusted to the low-light conditions that means; you will perceive the brightness of the image on the LCD screen much differently to how it will look when you see it on your laptop. You must instead, check the histogram to make sure that there is no clipping in the shadows or the highlights.


Here are a few tips that will help you capture breath-taking frames of a sunrise:


  • Check Your Location Before You Head Out for Sunrise Photography

You can visit the location prior to your planned sunrise shoot. It will be dark when you arrive at the location on the day of the shoot, you should know where you’re going in advance and maybe decide what you can capture.


  • Be at the Location Before Time for Better Photography

Capturing a sunrise is just not about capturing the moment when the sun starts moving above the horizon. Mostly the colours begin around the blue hour before sunrise. To make sure that you get the shot that you want, you must be ready to arrive early. This will help you decide the best frames and choose the right compositions ahead of time. So, you will be ready to capture your best shot once the sunrise begins.


  • Focus on the Sun During Photography

Capturing the sun when it begins to rise above the horizon can result in a breath-taking ‘starburst’ effect. This can give your shots a more interesting dynamic look. When you join a Photography course, you will know that the best way to capture this moment is to use a closed aperture of around f/16 to f/22. Also, you must make sure that the sun is partially obscured, either by the horizon or any other object.

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  • Bracket Your Shots During Sunrise Photography

When you decide on not using any filters the best idea is to bracket your images. The lighting conditions during the sunrise might be too difficult for your camera’s automatic light meter so it can be a little tricky to produce a balanced exposure.

What’s Bracketing?

Bracketing basically means that you’ll take multiple shots- one using the camera’s settings that are recommended, one exposing for the highlights and one exposing for the shadows within the scene. When you combine them with post-processing software, these shots can give you a single well-exposed image, which reflects the entire dynamic range. This technique is very helpful when the sun is too bright on the horizon but there still are some dark shadows in the foreground. You can either choose to do this manually or you can utilise the auto exposure bracketing function, which comes in most DSLRs that are available in the market.


  • Capture Photographs Away from the Sun

Most of the times, you can get busy in taking pictures of the sunrise and might ignore the beauty around it. But experts during online Photography courses say that you can gain a lot by capturing frames away from the sun, especially if the sunrise colours are in the opposite direction. Shooting a little away from the sun will also mean that the direction of light will minimise shadows in the foreground, so you would not have to compensate for shooting into the sun.

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If you are passionate about learning the art of clicking one-of-a-kind images and are constantly googling ‘best photography courses near me’; then Hamstech is the right choice for you. You can visit and discover a range of certificate courses, degrees and diplomas. Choose your favourite programme and enrol now!

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