A check of the weather, the tides and sunrise time and direction made getting up early worthwhile this morning. I love watching the sunrise and I love photography, so what better thing to do than get up early and get some shots. I prefer sunrise to sunsets as the air is cleaner and there are fewer people about.
To get these shots I had to do a bit of scrambling over wet rocks, in the dark and carrying my tripod and camera bag. I made sure someone knew where I was going and I carried a phone.
I was a bit unsure about the cloud on the horizon as there is often a bank out at sea which hides the sunrise completely. When I got to the beach it looked like I was in luck.
A crescent moon was high in the sky and it was not easy getting it into one shot, so I created a vertical panorama, stitching two landscape images, one above the other.
Just before the sun rose above the horizon it painted the clouds with reds and oranges. Over the island the roosting gulls all took to the air.
The light changes rapidly and constant attention needed paying to the exposure. I needed to reduce the exposure by two stops in less than a minute apart, which means the brightness of the scene doubled twice in a minute, and I could have reduced the exposure of the following shot even more. I adjusted the shutter speed, leaving the aperture at around f/11, giving me a good depth of field that I didn’t want to lose for these images.
The reds faded so quickly it was like a switch being pulled. Then the golden light of dawn started breaking through.
The sun started to appear above the horizon. Not only was the luminosity changing rapidly, but the colour of the light too.
Bright sunlight, like snow and water, can trick the camera’s sensor into under-exposing and so I over-exposed these shots by 0.7EV.
Shooting into the sun needs care. Looking at the sun through a lens can damage the eye, so I used live view for these shots. I also find Live View with the fully articulated screen easier when I am using a tripod.
My camera has a slip-down cover for the eye-piece. I use this to stop light leaking in through the eye piece when the shutter is open. I also have plate that replaced the eye cup that does the same job. If you don’t have either of these your camera then a piece of gaffer tape can do the trick. Leaked light can look like sensor dust.
Once the sun was up it was time to go and have breakfast…
but I just couldn’t resist shooting one last panorama from the cliff-top.