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Sunrises & Sunsets


Do the following for better sunrise and sunset photographs.

Protect Your Eyes

Don't stare at the sun.

Know When

sunrise sunset time by zip code


Use a low ISO, such as 100.

There'll be less noise.

White Balance

If you use automatic white balance, your camera may remove what it deems are excessive reds and oranges.

That's not what you want.

Set you white balance to the cloud icon or shade icon.

If you're saving your photographs as raw files, you can set the white balance when you process the photographs.

Exposure Compensation

Use exposure compensation to change how the sunset looks.


Foregrounds as Silhouettes

Without intervention, foregrounds are likely to appear as silhouettes.

So, look for something near the camera that will look good as a silhouette, such as a palm tree.

Make Foregrounds Visible

If you want the foreground to be more visible, you have to do some extra work.

Intervention #1 - Fill Flash

If you're photographing someone near the camera, pop your flash up.

If you don't, the person will appear as a silhouette.

Intervention #2 - Software Tools

You can reduce the contrast in a scene by taking several different exposures, and then using software to combine the files into a single photograph.

Go to High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography.

Intervention #3 - Shoot Raw & Process Twice

You can process the raw file twice:

1) Develop for the bright areas

2) Develop a second time for the darker areas

3) Then, combine the two images with Photoshop Elements or other software.

Go to Raw Process, Twice, to Reduce Contrast.

Shoot Raw

There are three advantages.

Advantage #1

Raw files have far more information available for editing in the shadows than do JPEG files.

Go to Raw v. JPEG.

Advantage #2

As mentioned, you can set the white balance when you process the raw file.

Advantage #3

As mentioned, you can process the raw file twice.

Larger Sun

Use telephoto focal lengths for a larger sun disc.