I am very fortunate to live near BroomHill Park in Strood which happens to have a commanding view across the River Medway towards Rochester, Chatham and beyond. That view also happens to be east facing making it an ideal place to capture the rising sun. An added bonus during the winter months is that you don't need to get up at a ridiculous hour to catch the dawn. These images were taken in January with the sun making it's appearance at 08:00 am. At that time of the morning you may share the park with just one or two hardy dog walkers but on the whole it's just you and nature. I personally find this time of day totally relaxing with my flask of hot tea, blanket and camera.
Now to capture a sunrise or sunset is not as easy as you think. After all you are trying to photograph the brightest object in the sky which can often lead to total exposure blow out of the sun or a heavy silhouette of anything else you want to include in your composition. Here are a few tips to take great Sunrise/Sunset photographs.
Composition. As tempting as it maybe to just take a photograph of the glorious colours in the sky, your image will be far more interesting if you fill it with some foreground interest. In my images here I have used the park furniture and trees to achieve this.
Exposure. Graduated filters are very useful to help balance out your exposure. However if you don't own any or simply forget to pack in your kit (as I did) it's not a disaster. Try either exposing for the sky or slightly under exposing on your foreground to prevent sun burn out. Your foreground is likely to become silhouetted and if that suits what you want to achieve then great. If not you still have the option to lighten the shadows later in post production especially if you shoot in raw.
Camera and settings. To achieve the results in these images I used a Canon 7D mk2 body, Canon 17-40 mm lens. ISO 100 with aperture of f16. Shutter speeds varied as the light fluctuated but averaged at around 2 to 3 seconds. As this is a slow shutter speed a tripod is essential. Each image was compiled using 3 exposure bracketing.
Post Production. Using Light room I stacked the 3 exposures into a single HDR image. I then lifted the shadows using both Lightroom and Viveza2 from the DXO Nik filter collection. It's important to ensure you don't over saturate the oranges in the sky. Over orange and blue skies give a very unnatural look.