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Thursday, April 30, 2020

The sunrises and sunsets are going to happen. It's what you do with them that's going to make the difference between photos you'll want to share and those you'll probably delete.
We spoke not too long ago with travel photographer Deborah Sandidge about how to best take advantage of sunrise and sunset opportunities. What Deb had to say basically comes down to these points:
  • The sun does not have to be the subject of the photograph.
  • The effect of the sun on the landscape is often the picture.
  • Plan or anticipate the picture you want to make.
  • Give yourself the time and the tools to make it.

Under the Sun

The sunrise or sunset provides the lighting, but the success of the image will likely depend on what it's illuminating—and how it's doing the job. Rocks, docks, boats, islands, bridges, skylines—they're all good subjects for dramatic, beautiful sunrise or sunset photographs.  
Deb doesn't consider her sunrise or sunset pictures to be documents of captured moments. Rather, they're emotional reactions to what she's seeing, and often what she's envisioned or planned. Her images are interpretive and subjective; they are efforts to capture a feeling or a mood. For a professional photographer, they also represent the desire to make something different, unusual, notable and memorable. At a certain level of ambition and achievement, these photographs are not about simply capturing what's given. While it's possible to just notice a glorious sunset happening right in front of you, for the most part these kinds of pictures take some time, thought and planning.