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Get Up Early and Shoot the Sunrise

As a photographer I’m known for my extensive portfolio of sunrises and sunsets. I’ve been photographing these for years, and I will the rest of my days. Its a personal pursuit and an effort that involves lifelong learning. For years, I’ve had enough images for a photo book on the subject matter, however, for most of my outings, I’m just doing it for personal enjoyment.

Whether on family vacations or photo expeditions, if I’m near water whether it be lakes or oceans, I always make it a point to get up early, an hour before sunrise, and travel to the shore to greet the new day shooting the sunrise. With coffee of course.

  1. Make the coffee first. I don’t know about you, but I need that boost of caffeine in the morning to get me going. Its the first thing I do, quietly! I prefer fresh ground Starbucks by the way. Double cream, no sugar.
  2. Check my equipment. I actually do this the night before, but If I forget, I’ll do this while the coffee is brewing. Make sure I’m using charged batteries. Check to make sure my lenses and protective UV filters are clean. Make sure my settings are where I want them on my camera. Lowest ISO setting for optimal quality, set to Auto White Balance (too early to mess with custom settings for me!), and set to Aperture Priority.
  • Focus Mid-Foreground to the Horizon. My focus point is half-way to the horizon. If that’s a great distance (more than infinity), I’ll feel setting my aperture to f/8, the sweet spot of my lens. By focusing ½ the distance to the horizon, you can be assured that both your foreground and background of the image will be in focus.

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