The Amateurs Guide to Photographing a Sunrise

One of my favourite subjects to photograph are sunrises, so with the sun starting to rise a little later I’m planning on a few morning snapping sessions at the beach.

sunrise on the south coast

This Saturday sunrise is at 07:13am and I must say I’m pretty stoked that it’s at a more reasonable hour, and will be until the clocks go back on the 25th October, when sunrise will be at 06:41am.

Here’s my totally amateur, but works for me, tips on capturing a sunrise.

Plan ahead

It took a while for me to determine where the sun comes up and the best spot to photograph it, but a little planning goes a long way in ensuring you get the best out of a sunrise. Arriving at your spot 30 minutes before sunrise ensures you capture the magic that occurs before sunrise.

fishing before sunrise

It’s also worth staying around afterwards, sometimes the time immediately before and after a sunrise is the most impressive.

fire sunrise

eastbourne pier sunrise

Focal point

Having a focal point adds interest to a sunrise photo, I use the pier and occasionally some plants which grow along the coast.

sunrise reflecting on the pier

between the leaves

Finding a silhouette can make a stunning addition to sunrise photos.

silhouette of eastbourne pier at sunrise

Be patient

A sunrise is constantly changing, what may look uninspiring one minute can quickly change in to a stunning vista, find a spot, maybe bring a coffee and just wait. You’re unlikely to be disappointed.

dawn sunrise

Change your perspective

Don’t feel like you have to go for the traditional sunrise shots, looking at things from a different perspective can give memorable results.

sunrise behind pier

I’m not going to touch on equipment; and here’s my photography confession…nearly every single one of my sunrise photos is taken on my phone, with absolutely no editing post snap.

I have the fancy camera with the dials, twiddly knobs and settings for days but I’m happiest sat on the beach, camera phone in hand and coffee by my side just watching and snapping a sunrise; rather than worrying about ISO, white balance, focus and everything else.

There are plenty of articles out there for those who are looking for technical help, me however, I’m content with my amateur phone snaps.

sun coming up

sunrise at low tide

brilliant blog posts-Honest Mum