A Sydney Sunrise Story…. I wonder how many landscape photographs you think I actually take, for a sunrise shoot? How long I am there? Or maybe you just enjoy the beautiful landscape photography? I would if I was you 😊
Here is my story of a recent Sydney Sunrise, well, to be more accurate a Brooklyn sunrise, just to the north of Sydney. I do have to note here for my international readers – Australian Landscape Photography is a little easier than elsewhere on the planet – we truly do get Great Light.
So – in general, what would ideally happen on a sunrise is:-
- One hour before sun-up – arrive at location… there might just be a faint hint of colour rather than blue in the sky – if so fingers crossed! Walk around the area to find a Good Spot
- 45 minutes before sun up – mainly blue on the horizon – still very dark, decide on what looks like The Best Spot and set up gear, tripod. One of Andrew’s photography tips – at the coast this is a great time to do panoramic photography, as lengthy shutter speeds mean easy stitching of ocean waves across frame edges.
- 30 minutes before sun up – time to probably start pressing that shutter. The blues will be augmented by horizon colour and also initial colours on any high clouds. Landscape photography images will display more contrast as the minutes pass. The colours will hopefully start to build – this lasts until
- Sun up – a blast of light – lasts 5-10 minutes at most. High contrast once more than the merest smidge of the sun is visible above the horizon
- 10-15 Minutes after sun up you can use Golden Light to get beautiful warm images looking away from the sunrise
- 15 minutes onward – sit and enjoy – pack gear away
Now – I thought you might be interested in looking at the way the colour changes – or at the very least enjoy some of my proverbial photographic art. There are several phases, and amount of colour varies wildly if you get lucky.
The Blue Hour (sometimes called Nautical Twilight)
Here I am, it’s very very dark, and the LCD on the back of my camera is lighting the world up like a torch. The only light to be seen is a glow on the horizon.
The photo shows….The Blue of the sky offset by a lovely contrast of the pink glow which slowly increased. Please note the stillness/milkiness of the water, it’s still really dark and a very long shutter speed and very firm tripod are needed. (Read here about tripods) Overall deep blues prevail.
As the light starts to increase there is more ambient light, but it’s still very dark. The colour temperature has changed. A purple tinge starts to colour the sky, and there is overall more variable colouration on the clouds.
When I get skies like this it all goes a bit frantic I must admit.
This was unusually good, the colour hung around like this for maybe 5 or more minutes, that’s a looong while. Each image will take one of more minutes to get ‘just right’ in camera
As with all stories, there is a twist in the tail, maybe less so with Australian photography due to our good light. On this day there was no Dawn. The lovely clouds that had given the colour got in the way of the sun as it rose over the hill. The light levels rose, the clouds reverted to golds and then to beiges.
After Dawn – The Golden Hour
Well, today the Golden Hour got cancelled. Here is an example of a shot taken locally on another day where I used the intense golden colour of the sunlight to really make a warm image. This extremely golden light will only last maybe five or so minutes at dawn. For landscape photography and nature photography you can’t beat it.
Thanks for reading this far
The Sydney Sunrise Photographer
All images in the above blog, of Andrew’s Australian landscape photography for sale, can be found here
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