20 Top Tips Sunrise & Sunset (Part 2)

8/21/2012 9:36:22 AM

11. Capture silhouettes


Description: Capture silhouettes

Shoot into the brightest part of the sky and expose for the highlights to capture striking silhouettes. It is important to ensure that your subject has an interesting outline. Trees are prime candidates but also look out for rocks and city skylines.

12. Morning mist

Description: Morning mist

Mist is often produced at sunrise and is usually forecasted so keep an eye on weather reports in anticipation. If you understand the conditions that create mist then you can predict it. Use mist to simplify your landscapes and create a tranquil atmosphere. Photograph the mist when surrounded by it or from a high view point.

13. Twilight magic

Description: Twilight magic

Twilight comes before sunrise and after sunset. On clear days it provides a directional, soft blue light, and can be used to create calm atmospheric images, particularly if there is some mist or snow on the ground. Twilight can extend an hour or more after sunset or before sunrise so don’t head home too early.

14. Moonrise and moonset

Description: Moonrise and moonset

Around the time of full moon, the sun rises as the moon sets, and the moon rises as the sun sets. Timing is very important and there may only be a few good opportunities a year to capture this. These images are best shot with the telephoto lens.

15. Colour contrast

Description: Colour contrast

The warm light at the start and end of the day produces stunning colour contrasts that will illuminate your subject. The strongest colour casts come with fierce sunlight and clouds overhead. Cold winter mornings are also a great time to head out, as the frosty ground in the shade will reflect the blue of the sky.

16. The photographer’s ephemeris

Description: The photographer’s ephemeris

When combined with a map and compass The Photographers Ephemeris is a great piece of freeware that tells you when and where the sun and moon will rise and set on any given date. This will allow you to pre plan your image without even visiting the location.

17. Capture sun stars

Description: Capture sun stars

Sun stars are caused by diffraction, which is the bending of light around the aperture blades of the lens. Small apertures of f13 or so increase diffraction and hence the size of the sun stars. High-contrast sunlight at sunrise or sunset when combined with high-end optics will produce stunning results.

18. Weather fronts

Description: Weather fronts

Incoming and outgoing weather fronts as sunrise or sunset will provide sensational skies rich in colour. Learn to recognise low-altitude clouds like cumulus and high-altitude clouds like altostratus and cirrus. Understand how they change colour in ‘the magic hour’ and this will explain why a grey sky will suddenly become red at sunset.

19. Exposure bracketing

Description: Exposure bracketing

You can shoot multiple different exposures of the same scene on a tripod and combine them in post processing to achieve an even exposure. Spending time using Layer Masks in Photoshop will help you produce incredibly realistic results.

20. Lens flare

Description: Lens flare

High end optics reduces lens flare but using a lens hood or even your hand can help if sunlight is glancing the front element. Subtle lens flares can be removed in post processing with a little bit of practice using the Curves tool in Photoshop.

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