How to shoot sunsets/sunrises

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by runnerpsu, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    There are a lot excellent photographers in this section and throughout Talk E-Mount. In December 2013, my wife and I sold our home in Central PA and moved to Delray Beach FL. The sunsets and sunrises here are spectacular.

    I've tried to capture but my efforts are not good. One issues I encounter is locations that do not have telephone poles. lines, signs, etc. I use LR6 and my skills are not good enough to remove. I found PhotoPills, an iPhone app, that appears to help with locations at certain times and dates.


    I would value thoughts, suggestions, or guidance on how to capture these beautiful sunsets/sunrises. The sunsets at this time of year are stunning.

    Thanks in advance to all who reply.

    Mike
     
  2. Xterra

    Xterra TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Feb 8, 2016
    Strasbourg, France
    David
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  3. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
  4. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
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  5. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran

    370
    Feb 5, 2014
    Australia
    First thing I would do if I lived in Florida (I'm assuming close to water) is head to the seaside, beach, local marina or other waterway. Waterway scenes come alive at this time of day. You get double the intensity of colour if you can get it reflecting from the water. Then if your not already, shoot RAW. Sunset/Sunrise scenes usually have large variations in exposure across the frame with very bright sky's and dark foregrounds. This is the kind of scene where RAW really comes into its own in PP. With the Sony sensor there is so much latitude in the RAW files I find as long as you expose the sky well and don't blow the highlights you can recover detail to bring the scene back to what you eye was seeing at the time, usually negating the need for graduated ND filters or HDR. Filter and HDR are also options worth experimenting with especially if shooting JPEG. Sony have a camera app called Sky HDR which I have tried. It works but is a little finicky to use. With practice I think it would do well with JPEG's.

    Another thing to consider for golden hour shooting is your white balance. I set at auto and fix the white balance in post which is fine with RAW, but if I was to shoot JPEG I would set it manually or use one of the in camera scene modes. Looking at your sunsets there is a definite golden glow on the horizon but the overall image is quite cool rather than having that warm golden hour feel.

    As for the poles in your images, I don't mind them. I think they add an extra element as they disapear into the distance.
     
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  6. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I also really like what I see - nice work ;)
     
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  7. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Since you're on the eastern side, Sunrises are your most unobstructed scene. Seek out some nice locations with views of the sunrise. Try to forecast if there will be some clouds that day, as they add to the composition.
    For Sunsets, try to locate some elevation albeit small being FL. Also try to shoot from highrises, rooftops, patios. This will give you a clearer view of the horizon. I usually shoot in manual mode to have more control of the exposure. ISO=100, tripod, OSS off if you shoot native lenses. F/8-F/11, and varying shutter speed to get the desired exposure and effect.
    The Live View will give you good idea of what you'll be capturing.
    Your camera is likely in a Program mode, and the metering is compensating for the foreground and overexposing the sky. You can also use the AEL to zone meter on a particular part of the sky to not have it blow out. Then frame your shot and hit the shutter.
     
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  8. hodad66

    hodad66 Sony Guru

    582
    Feb 8, 2012
    Indialantic, Fl
    John
    Once you get the image (in raw) use Photoshop Camera Raw to adjust the image.
    I use the "graduated filter" to lighten the foreground (beach) & another "GF" to
    adjust the sky. I usually shoot 1/2 to 1 stop under.

    17078111588_294f810dd2_b.

    22000543123_75b9d55dd0_b.
     
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  9. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Thanks to all who commented! Clearly, I have a lot to learn which will be fun.
    Thanks for your
    Good advice, especially heading to the beach, marina, or waterway. I live about 5 miles from the beach and intercostal so this will be rather easy.

    I've not used the HRD capabilities of my A7II so that is something I need to learn.

    I shoot RAW and use LR6 to edit. I recently downloaded Google's Nix which may be useful.
     
  10. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Agree that sunrise provide a very unobstructed view! The clouds in South Florida are wonderful so I like to include clouds into my photos. At this point I do not own a tripod but I can use the walls to stabilize.
     
  11. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Beautiful!!!!!! I'm learning to use the graduated filter and your work encourages me!
     
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  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    My amateur take: 1) look for unobstructed and/or complimentary foregrounds (avoid asphalt unless it's a highway leading to the horizon), 2) read the clouds (clear sky and full overcast usually "meh") and 3) get into post processing.

    before-after.

    Little "before and after" sample here. The "before" is straight from RAW with just a calibrated color profile. "After" has been through Photoshop for exposure curve, color balance, dodging & burning and color filter effects ("orange" on the sky and "yellow" on the foreground if I recall correctly). Some would say it's contrived - I'd say it's been matched in post to better approximate the way my subjective brain remembers the scene. :rolleyes:
    That took me about 10 minutes (might have taken longer but I was in practice from having done the rest of the trip). Some will take issue with certain choices I made here (I myself will probably go back and dial back that pink a little bit). But that's the beauty (and the quagmire) of post processing - especially in Photoshop, the possibilities are endless.
    Some people spend days on each image they wind up printing. One doesn't necessarily have to do that, but if you wind up being one of those guys who doesn't put any effort whatsoever into processing the stuff you share, I probably won't be following you on Flickr. (At least not for landscapes.)
    HINT: YouTube has a lot of good video seminars for this kind of stuff.
     
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  13. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    You've been getting some great advice. looking forward to seeing the results.

    I don't think anyone said this yet. The beautiful sunset/sunrise in front of you is not an excuse to forget photography 101. You still need to consider the entire scene. The sunrise or sunset is an element of the scene, not the whole scene. Depending on where it's taking place, it can be the subject or a complimentary element. If done right, the shot should already be decent without the sunrise/sunset. Good luck!
     
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  14. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Great advice so far. I would add that their are apps that calculate exact sunrise/sunset times.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
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  15. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran

    370
    Feb 5, 2014
    Australia
    As pointed out by Gary find a scene you want to shoot then get to that scene during sunset/sunrise using golden hour to enhance the light. Like yourself I'm on the east coast of Australia, for me its seaside scenes for sunrise and mountains for sunset. There are exceptions to this though. This is a sunset shot, by the sea.

    14110980510_1a3495b45a_k. Norah Head Sunset by Southy, on Flickr

    Just looking at google maps, I note in Florida you have a extensive canal system. This would present options for sunset shots over water. I would look for features such as bridges or boats and when the water is calm enough, usually early morning you should be able to get nice reflections as well.

    Above Dave mentions sunrise apps. I use Photo Pils. Not only useful for predicting sunrise/sunset times but it also tracks the sun predicting its path through the sky so you will know exacting where on the horizon it with be coming up. I imagine there are a multitude of these types of apps.

    Edit, just noted you already got Photo Pils.

    PhotoPills | Shoot legendary photos
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
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  16. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Beautiful shot!

    Yes, the advice I've received is excellent!!!!! Based on the comments, I've started to look at locations for sunrise as well as sunsets.

    Interestingly, last week, this when I was returning home from shooting on the beach we went over a bridge on the intercostal water way. The sun was setting and just beautiful. Due to traffic, I was not able to stop. I plan to find a place to park and walk to the bridge.

    I've been considering PhotoPills so I think I need to purchase. Additionally, I've been researching the HRD capabilities of my A7II which I think may be helpful in shooting sunrises/sunsets.

    Finally, at this point in time, I do not have a tripod so I will need to use some form of support.

    Thanks again to ALL who have replied.
     
  17. hodad66

    hodad66 Sony Guru

    582
    Feb 8, 2012
    Indialantic, Fl
    John
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  18. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
  19. Sergio Rodriguez Espinosa

    Sergio Rodriguez Espinosa TalkEmount Rookie

    17
    Mar 20, 2016
    Sergio Rodriguez Espinosa
    image. image. image. image. image. image. Wow, a lot of learnings in all of the post.
    I like to take sunsets. My focal and interest points are expose for the highlights and enhance the drama. Trying to get the purist of the moment and avoid the post work. Sometimes it will be needed, but always try to not.
     
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  20. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Regular

    115
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Beautiful!
     
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