The sun comes up how early? and you want to see it….?

Those who know me know one thing…. I am NOT a morning person.  I mean I can be if work makes me be there at 8:00, and I’m getting better too, I now have to be at work at 8:45 and I used to only take 11-8 shifts.

That being said I got it in my head that I was going to get a sunrise photo.  Now just to find the perfect location.  I am not one for scouting out my locations; I’d rather just slam on the brakes and park the van and take what I can find. This does not usually work with things that you cannot see at the time of setup….. like a sunrise.

I heard about a little app for my phone called PhotoPills.  The app is basically your guide to when and where things are going to happen revolving around the sun, moon, stars and such.  It is a learning curve, and I will probably never use most of it.  What I do use is the Augmented Reality feature.

Basically as long as the compass in the phone is calibrated right you can turn your phone camera on and spin around to locate the exact path that the sun or moon will follow for the particular day (you can move days as well).  This helped me see that my first spot at Indian Lake, which was right across from the indian head roadhouse was not going to give me the view of the sunrise that I wanted.

I ended up at a parking lot across from Durnell’s campground.  The first shot was at 6:37 AM.  Here is the unedited: 

Now with some editing:

6:53 as twilight just starts the blue and golden hours

I took my assistant Debby Doubter along who said “I bet you won’t be able to see the sun, it’s too cloudy”
I reply “it’s not time yet, but give it a few more minutes”  Time is 7:25

Sure enough at 7:28:11 We see Mr. Sun

Some tips for shooting the sunrise or even a sunset.

  • Arrive early and get setup – Your first location might not be the best
  • Research – know what time things will happen and if needed where.
  • You need a tripod and cable release – most of the early exposures are 30 seconds, tapering down to 8, 1/13 and then 1/30.  I’m shooting at f/25 and f/22 to get the most detail and depth of field
  • BUG SPRAY!! – Cannot stress this enough.  I did not use bug spray and ended up with many bug bites, which developed infection.
  • An optional fun thing that I used was the remote live view feature that my Canon t7i offers.  I was able to change my exposure settings and not have to leave my chair.  Note: you should not use live view once the disc of the sun has came up as this can damage your sensor.