For the second year in a row, I traveled to the US Atlantic Cost for a beach vacation.
The last year, during my trip to Tybee Island, I photographed a nice set of sunrise and beach photos – My Orange Crush – Spring Break on Tybee Island. Here is one of my favorite beach candid shots, titled Hello, Sunshine!, taken on the very first day of that vacation.
This year’s trip was a photo success too. The sunrise photohunt was as good as the last year’s; and another candid “title photo” Hello, Sunshine! had been taken on the very first day of this vacation… I can’t wait for the next year! [wink]
A Few Tips on How To Take Better Sunrise and Sunset Photos
At first, Safety! of you and your photo camera
- The sun can damage your eyes. Wear sunglasses and never look at the sun through a direct viewfinder
- Have a photo camera on your neck or wrist band
- Always look where you are going when changing position, especially in the water
The Right Place at the Right Time
- Plan your event in advance. Scout the beach during daytime, mind the East or West sides when searching for the location of your future photoshoot
- The entire sunrise/sunset photo session will take about 60-90 minutes, plan accordingly
- Find sunrises and sunsets times at the weather.com or another weather website
- Arrive at least 30-45 minutes before the event. Note, the location of water line will be different from the one seen during daytime
- The best sunrises and sunsets are after a rain or thunderstorm. So don’t waste the opportunity and be ready to go when it rains.
- Don’t leave when you see cloudy or foggy horizon. The clouds may add character and enhance the mood of the sunrise/sunset photograph. My favorite photography moments of sunrise and sunset are when the Sun is at least half hidden (not very bright). Also, don’t leave right after the sunset. The sky will get its best deep blue color in about 10 minutes after the sunset [wink]
- Use reflection in the water, look for human or object presence in the frame (people, birds, trees, piers, houses, boats, etc.). Just because you are shooting a sunrise or sunset doesn’t mean you have to only include the Sun [smile]
- Relocate! Don’t take all photos from the same spot
- Take Raw images. You may need to correct them later
- I prefer to photograph bright scenes with Aperture Priority mode: ISO 100, Aperture- largest (fully closed), and changing the EV (exposure value compensation) down to -3
- When exposure is longer than a second, you will have to have a tripod. So, I often switch to Manual mode and play with the settings to avoid the use of a tripod. I prefer to be mobile and be able to change positions quickly
- Auto Program or Scene mode? – Why not? Try it
- Be careful using Auto White Balance. Always test different setting to see which works better
- Continuously check taken images as the sun is changing brightness and color temperature
- Have fun and experiment, rotate the dials and push the buttons!
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