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Old Jun 30, 2013, 10:52 PM   #1
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Default Sunrise /Sunset Photo tips

I would appreciate any tips you can offer to take sunrise and sunset photos.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 9:02 AM   #2
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I like to use several bracketed exposures, in order to preserve a little bit of the shadow detail, if the shot warrants it. This gives me the most flexibility in deciding how I want to process it. I usually don't go too far into the HDR processing, as these are such high contrast shots to begin with.
Colorful and interesting cloud formations are what give sunsets and sunrises their appeal to me.

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Old Jul 1, 2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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Do you use automatic exposures or totally manual?
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 11:21 AM   #4
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If my camera would do more than three bracketed shots, I would probably use auto. As I am set up now, I use the camera matrix metering to find my 'normal' exposure, and manually bracket around that. This can sometimes be a little slow, though, and it can be surprising how much the sun can move while you are changing camera settings.

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Old Jul 6, 2013, 8:06 AM   #5
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I shoot in manual, spot meter, then meter a part of the sky away from the sun to set exposure. I'll redo this procedure every few shots as needed as the sun moves.
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Old Jul 6, 2013, 12:56 PM   #6
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If I'm trying for color in the sky and don't care about anything on the ground that might clip (blacks/shadow have no information, they are completely black), then I'll use spot metering and meter a little away from the brightest part of the scene you are photographing. Lock in the exposure and recompose to the composition you want (you can also do it manually, changing the shutter speed while watching the exposure indicator change until it shows a proper exposure for your point). That works most of the time for capturing the sky correctly. If you want ground details you'd have to bracket and use HDR since it is such a huge dynamic range.

Matrix metering will usually overexpose the sky and you'll lose the colors. If my main purpose is the sky, then I'll try to have a ground interest that's a silhouette so I don't have to resort to HDR. Or else has water in it (lake, ocean) so there's light reflected off of it (may also require HDR, best to bracket and then chimp to see if you have each part correctly exposed).
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