Sunrise photography tips for during the shoot
Get the best light possible
“I’ve always loved shooting the sea and coastal buildings. The sea and sky never stay the same,” says Dave. “What I learned shooting Portland Bill lighthouse was how important it is to get the best light – which is often at dawn – and how fast it changes. You must set up your DSLR beforehand.”
Get ready the night before
In the UK most of us are fortunate enough to be within a couple of hours’ drive of the coast, so you probably won’t have to camp out on location overnight in order to catch the dawn light. But you will be making an early start, and few of us are at our best early in the morning, so a bit of advance planning is essential.
The day before you set off, check the water and oil levels of your car, inflate the tires to their correct pressure, and make sure you have enough fuel for the journey. Make yourself up a care package of something to eat and drink. If your body isn’t used to being up early, you’ll need to fuel it properly and take care of yourself.
Get to bed early the night before and set two alarm clocks. Be sure not to eat heavily or drink alcohol, or you’ll feel terrible when that 3am alarm goes off – and if you have been drinking, you’ll also be in no legal state to drive.
Speed up your camera’s processing times
“We took lots of slow shutter speed (long exposure) shots of the sea and cliffs, and I noticed it was taking up to two minutes for my camera to process the shots. This was getting very annoying. Guy told me to check if the Long Exposure Noise Reduction setting was on. It was, and turned to Auto. Once I turned it off, my camera really sped up.”
To turn this setting off, hit the Menu button on the back of the 400D, pick the orange ‘tools’ icon and Custom Function.
Off it goes! To reduce noise, Guy said I should shoot at lower ISO settings, or try Noise Ninja (www.picturecode.com).
This shot saved in a jiffy. It was shot at ISO100, too, so there wasn’t much noise in evidence. I love this scene.
Lock your mirror
When shooting at slow shutter speeds to get ‘milky’ sea effects (see page 120), Dave found it hard to avoid camera shake and keep every shot sharp – even with a tripod. Then Guy advised him to use the Mirror Lockup function. This locks the D-SLR’s mirror in the up position, reducing camera shake even further.
Use a shutter release
As well as Mirror Lockup, Dave used a shutter release to keep his DSLR rock solid. Guy told Dave to shoot the waves as they were going out. “If you do this, the wave motion is much more predictable.”
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Sunrise photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Final sunrise photography tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
Clever ways to shoot flat, lowland terrain
How to shoot dramatic pictures of the sea
Landscape photography ideas for rivers, waterfalls and lakes
Landscape photo ideas for creative pictures of mountains and hills