Planning A Sunrise Shoot – what do I need to do?

Now I have to confess, I am the worst morning person evah! My brain doesn’t really wake up til 10.30am on a good day. So the concept of hauling myself out of bed while it was STILL DARK OUTSIDE is one that my brain keeps asking itself “what are you thinking?”

However it is midwinter here in NZ, and the sunrise is the latest it will be at any other time of the year – this week its around 8am.

So now I need to plan my attack. After all we want to maximise our sunrise opportunity but we also want to make sure we get out of bed as late as possible 🙂

Here is my current plan:

Scoped out a good spot on the beach, with some interesting rocks in the foreground (if the tide is in I might get some nice swirly long exposure wave shots)
Made sure the spot is easily accessible – park about 20m away and walk along the road
Heaps of horizon so will get the sun even if I am not in the most perfect shot.
Its close to home, about 10 min drive away

Asking some local photogs, their advice is to get there about an hour before hand. That gives enough time to setup and get the good light as the sun is rising.

The only thing holding me up now, other than a reluctance to get out of bed is the following:

– attended a workshop on filters, and while I have a polariser filter, I dont have any form of ND, and I got the distinct impression, I will get a better response if I do. And there is the reverse ND option recommended for Sunrise/Sunsets but they don’t seem to be available locally
– timing – if I get to my spot at 7am in time for a sunrise at 8am approx, I then have to battle my way back through morning traffic. I also have to magically get dressed for work which are not the same clothes I dress in for being out before sunrise for an hour. I could potentially pack something and get changed at work if I managed to do my hair and not crush it too much with a hat…..

What other things do I need to be aware of, or think about. Having never deliberately got up to shoot a sunrise before this is new territory for me.

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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2 Responses to Planning A Sunrise Shoot – what do I need to do?

  1. Craig says:

    I recently discovered this little jem. You tell it where you are, where you want to shoot and it will give you lines showing the point of sunrise/set so you can get an idea of angles 😀

    http://photoephemeris.com/

    And yeah, the polariser will work to some extent for the sunrise.. as long as you are not directly pointing at it. Side on is at their best. But you can always apply graduating gradient filters with some photoshop fairy dust as long as the exposure is right.

    I too have been driving to work in awe of the sunrise light hitting the snow on the range, and the frost in the fields with sunrays beaming through the mist. But alas, always miss it time the camera is found and a good spot.

    And traffic isn’t too bad at the moment.. gogo school holidays and less on the road! But Friday/weekend might be a different story. More to do 🙂

    • lensaddiction says:

      thanks for the link thats really useful! I specifically went out on Sunday afternoon to look for a spot around Sumner and I found on, where that big rock sticks out a few metres off the edge of the road. I was specifically looking for a spot that had some rocks in the foreground for some interest. Sadly without going all the way round to Taylors Mistake, that seemed to be the only spot.

Love to hear your thoughts on my post!

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