“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”Bernard Williams
The science of sunrise and sunset
Stephen F. Corfidi speaks in The Colors of Sunset and Twilight of how at sunrise or sunset, sunlight takes a much longer path through the atmosphere than during the middle part of the day.
Because this lengthened path results in an increased amount of violet and blue light being scattered out of the beam, the light that reaches an observer early or late in the day is noticeably reddened.
“Thus, it could be said that sunsets are red because the daytime sky is blue.”Stephen F. Corfidi
How to capture the beauty of sunrise and sunset with your DSLR or smartphone
- Make your own luck
Generally, clean air is the main ingredient to a colourful sunrise or sunset. This can be used as a starting block if you’re wondering when or where to shoot. However, what could be seen as the beauty of these transitions is their uncertainty. Perhaps, enjoy the unpredictability. The images below illustrate some differences between city-scape sunsets and out at sea.
2. Experiment with gear
Particularly when first getting to grips with your equipment, take out whatever kit you’ve got – you can be surprised by the power of your smartphone. Personally, when looking for advice or tips to getting the most out of my Sony DSC H400 and later Canon 1200D, I struggled. Experimenting with different shutter speeds and aperture values on site proved to be the best form of learning.
3. Rule of thirds
Perhaps the most well-known and simple principle in photography. The theory is to break an image down into thirds, both horizontally and vertically giving 9 segments to a picture. Although a lot of creative imagery comes from the breaking of this rule, it can prove as the foundation to a picturesque landscape shot.
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Stephen F. Corfidi – The Colors of Sunset and Twilight
Darren Rowse – Rule of Thirds