How to photograph the perfect sunrise or sunset with an SLR camera

Capturing that gorgeous orange glow at dawn and dusk can be a tricky thing, so we asked Bob Bittner, a professional landscape photographer and a workshop instructor for McBain Camera, for his top four tips for SLR users.

  1. Switch your settings from auto to manual, and make sure to keep things within the right range. Your aperture, also known as f-stop, controls the amount of light entering through the lens. Adjust your depth of field between f/10 and f/14 and keep your ISO low – between 125 and 400 – to ensure your picture quality remains high.
  2. Scout your location. With a sunrise, the landscape will remain dark until just before the dawn, so it’s best to have a look and get familiar with it the day before, in the daytime.
  3. Use an ND grad filter. “It’s like putting sunglasses on your camera,” says Bittner. A graduated neutral density filter helps even out the tones in a photo, creating a photographic landscape that’s closer to how it appears to the human eye.
  4. Tripod versus freestyle? Bittner prefers the freedom of the latter, which allows you to move around and try different angles. Keep your hand as steady as possible to avoid blurring. He also recommends using the “continuous burst” function on your camera so that at least one of the shots will come out nicely.

– By Tim Johnson

Save up to 20% on passport photos, workshops, camera bags and tripods at McBain Camera. For more information, visit AMARewards.

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