Exposure settings for sunrise/sunset


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Feb 22, 2008
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#1
Hi guyys,

Any advice on specific exposure modes (Program, Av, Landscape, etc..), ISOs, or another other settings in getting the exposure right for taking sunrise/sunset shots?

Perhaps posting some pics with their exposure settings might be really useful to everyone, in understanding the technique.

thanks for the help! :)
 

catchlights

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#2
Hi guyys,

Any advice on specific exposure modes (Program, Av, Landscape, etc..), ISOs, or another other settings in getting the exposure right for taking sunrise/sunset shots?

Perhaps posting some pics with their exposure settings might be really useful to everyone, in understanding the technique.

thanks for the help! :)
not about exposure setting, is about how you metering the scene.

sunrise sunset, the lighting change rapidly, so you need to fine tune the exposure on site.

I prefer using lowest ISO, manual exposure, f8~f11, center weighted metering, zoom in, meter the area near or around the sun but not including the sun, recompose my framing, using the reading to expose the scene, judging the LCD, fine tune exposure if needed.
btw, I don't use auto WB, if I want it cool, I use lowest kelvin, if I want it warm, I use highest kelvin.

hope this help.
 

night86mare

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#3
it really does depend on the type of scene you want to take

i do maintain that without hdr/gnd filters you are limited in-camera, to taking nothing more than interesting silhouette or the sky

so if you are interested in the golden hours, learn one, or get the other :)

if you shoot in raw, anything goes with regards to wb, btw. but in generallll, cool wb is used when the sun is gone, when the sun is up, avoid it unless you want magenta sun.
 

#4
not about exposure setting, is about how you metering the scene.

sunrise sunset, the lighting change rapidly, so you need to fine tune the exposure on site.

I prefer using lowest ISO, manual exposure, f8~f11, center weighted metering, zoom in, meter the area near or around the sun but not including the sun, recompose my framing, using the reading to expose the scene, judging the LCD, fine tune exposure if needed.
btw, I don't use auto WB, if I want it cool, I use lowest kelvin, if I want it warm, I use highest kelvin.

hope this help.
I myself prefer the spot metering, meter the area near and around the sun but not including the bright sun surface. Lock the meter, recompose and *click*.
 

Feb 3, 2008
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#5
spot metering?

hmmm...always been using evaluative metering.

maybe thats why i cant always end up bracketing.
 

Feb 3, 2008
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#7
yes.

why is f/22 so special?

was reading some books and most pics were at f/22.

why is tat?
 

night86mare

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#8
yes.

why is f/22 so special?

was reading some books and most pics were at f/22.

why is tat?
depth of field

let me guess, those pictures had very prominent foreground which took a very dominant role in the picture.

to ensure relative sharpness, one has to use a small aperture.. of course it happens at the cost of slight loss of image quality due to diffraction.. (also another form of softening) but it is most of the time, much better than getting an overly soft background.

another possible reason, thoguh not so common is because the sun looks good as a starburst, and given the c orrect conditions, you can concentrate it until it looks like a star.. and to achieve starburst effect, one needs a small aperture
 

Pauche

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#9
hey nightmare.... would'nt the sun damage the camera's sensor if u 'concentrate' on it for too long?
 

megaweb

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#10
would'nt the sun damage the camera's sensor if u 'concentrate' on it for too long?
as long as use auto mode like AUTO, P, A/Av or S/Tv mode, it should be fine. If you use M mode aka manual mode and set to long exposure like 30sec, good luck to your sensor :sweatsm:


Usually for me taking Sunset shots, I will meter the sky next to the Sun and compensate +1/3 to +1. Metering mode used is partial spot ( my camera dun have spot :( ).
 

night86mare

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#11
hey nightmare.... would'nt the sun damage the camera's sensor if u 'concentrate' on it for too long?
yes.. but there is no way you are going to damage it if you shoot normally

:bsmilie: it is literally quite impossible to attain exposures longer than 4 seconds when shooting into the sun, from experience.. i think only ir can.
 

catchlights

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#12
hey nightmare.... would'nt the sun damage the camera's sensor if u 'concentrate' on it for too long?
No, If you exposed the sensor too long, you won't get any usable images, as in "all white washed", so it won't damage the sensor so easily if you just taking sunrise /sunset.

however, if you really concern about damaging the camera sensor, can try shooting sunrise or sunset with your lens cap on, or try to shoot it at night.

hope this help.
 

lsisaxon

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hey nightmare.... would'nt the sun damage the camera's sensor if u 'concentrate' on it for too long?
It will probably damage your eye first. ;p
 

lsisaxon

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#14
would you guys recommend shooting at f/22?
No. On a DSLR, diffraction limits starts to kick in around f/11 to f/16. Using anything smaller will have an impact on sharpness.
 

night86mare

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#17
No. On a DSLR, diffraction limits starts to kick in around f/11 to f/16. Using anything smaller will have an impact on sharpness.
it depends.. at extreme wide angles, like it or not, when you are doing traditional strong foreground compositions, then you would need extremely small apertures. diffraction, yes, but no choice.
 

Pauche

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#18
as long as use auto mode like AUTO, P, A/Av or S/Tv mode, it should be fine. If you use M mode aka manual mode and set to long exposure like 30sec, good luck to your sensor :sweatsm:

Usually for me taking Sunset shots, I will meter the sky next to the Sun and compensate +1/3 to +1. Metering mode used is partial spot ( my camera dun have spot :( ).
I usually use Av mode either f/11 or f/16, and sometimes due to a blown sun, I adjust EV accordingly.


yes.. but there is no way you are going to damage it if you shoot normally

it is literally quite impossible to attain exposures longer than 4 seconds when shooting into the sun, from experience.. i think only ir can.
just curious, do u really need long exposures for sunset? unless you are talking about wanting a smooth silky seawater below the sunset or you some nice smooth moving clouds in the frame during sunset. other than that you wouldn't be having long exposures eh? Alternatively, you will be having a ND/GND filter on.... reducing the sun's direct glare. :thumbsup:

No, If you exposed the sensor too long, you won't get any usable images, as in "all white washed", so it won't damage the sensor so easily if you just taking sunrise /sunset.

however, if you really concern about damaging the camera sensor, can try shooting sunrise or sunset with your lens cap on, or try to shoot it at night.

hope this help.
care to post some shots with the lens cap on? I'l like to see your beautiful images. :sweatsm:

It will probably damage your eye first. ;p
yeah mann!
 

night86mare

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#19
just curious, do u really need long exposures for sunset? unless you are talking about wanting a smooth silky seawater below the sunset or you some nice smooth moving clouds in the frame during sunset. other than that you wouldn't be having long exposures eh? Alternatively, you will be having a ND/GND filter on.... reducing the sun's direct glare. :thumbsup:
no, most sunset shots which nothing to do with silky water don't need long exposures.. or calm reflections anyways (for the reservoirs)

the main issue here like i just mentioned is the dof

when you have a 10mm lens and you're shooting with a very prominent foreground

e.g.



then you might want to consider using smaller apertures. i think this wasn't done with it.. end up the background a bit soft.. not so visible here, but when you see a larger size , it is bleeding obvious
 

Pauche

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#20
cool..... nice pic...
 

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