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The Ultimate Guide To Sunrise Photography: Tips & Techniques

By: Capturing Travel

Topic: Sunrise Photography

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Why Is A Sunrise Colourful?

The reason the sky can turn golden at sunrise is that the light needs to pass through more of the atmosphere before it gets to you.  This causes more of the blue light to scatter out, leaving the yellows/reds to be left visible

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Choosing The Right Location

It's best to look for landscapes with layers, mountains, and trees or where the sun rises out to sea, ideally with foreground interest. The sunrise direction in relation to your location is key, if your location has high mountains or buildings in the direction the sun is rising then you're unlikely to get the stunning morning light as you're sheltered.

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With a clear sky, you're sure to see the sun rise over the horizon, which can be stunning. However, without clouds, there is nothing to be lit up in the sky to show the colours at sunrise. The ideal conditions are to have some mid to high-level clouds, with enough space for the sun to break through.

Checking The Weather

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To capture the perfect shot and create a variety of compositions, having a zoom lens on hand can be quite helpful.

Equipment For Sunrise Photography : Lenses

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Camera Settings For Sunrise Photography

Shutter speed: If you're shooting handheld try to keep above 1/focal length. e.g 1/100 for a 100mm lens. Aperture: As always, this depends on your composition. In general, to keep the entire scene in focus use a small aperture. To reduce your depth of field to focus on a subject use a wider aperture. As always, the best settings depend on the conditions and composition. Click the link below to read more

Composition Tips For Sunrise Photography

- Rule of thirds:  - Silhouettes - Layers: - Leading Lines

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Techniques For Capturing Sunrise Photos 

- Bracketing / HDR photography - Long exposures - Focus stacking

On Capturing Travel we share our best tips and tricks to take your travel photography to new heights! From the white glaciers of Antarctica to the sandy beaches in the Maldives, let’s ensure you capture the best moments of your adventures.

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