How to Shoot Great Sunrise Photography

In this video from Master Photo Workshops photographer Jim Zuckerman shows you how he creates his iconic sunrise photography, using a beautiful lighthouse as his subject. He begins with the basics of choosing your subject and exposure well and then continues on to explain the need to move quickly, “work the scene,” and understand that auto white balance works against you in sunrise and sunset scenes.

The information is straightforward, maybe even basic, but it leads to some amazing photos.

(via ISO1200)

  • Guy

    Wow. I love how when he says that slanted horizons are awful, he’s in front of a slanted horizon.   Guess what, he’s right! 

  • John Dunne

    I also found it strange that, as a landscape photographer he thought HDR was the only way of dealing with a high dynamic range scene. What about the use of ND Grads? Maybe filters are not part of this “Master” workshop?

  • Benicio Murray

     it’s simple and dated information but it’s sometimes nice to get back to basics

  • Foo

    Guy has lens flare, but cant correct using lens hoods. Yeesh.

  • Patrick_gevaert

    Nice!!  But I should use a UV-filter (even if it was only for protection from the fine particles of sea water spray that occur while photographing along a sea shore)  and a hood on the 16-35mm.  I experienced many times that while photographing on a tripod (I use the timer on 2 secs.) I can use my free hand as an extension of the hood which works well – even at 16mm!   Thanks for the mini work-shop!

  • Jared Monkman

    the point he made, and he is correct, that when photographing directly into the sun, nothing will stop the lens flares.  Hoods only protect from lens flares from an angle; when not photographing directly into the sun.

  • Stephane Bon

    Simple but interesting video. Thanks for sharing it.

  • WittWendy84

    as Mildred replied I’m surprised that a single mom can make $7792 in one month on the internet. did you read this website==>> Sure2Go.Blogspot.Com 

  • jc

    Tilt-shift with or without extender gives way more options, sharper images.


    This is not a bad tutorial and rightly pointed out by somebody above, the discussion of ND grads is necessary when the dynamic range of the scene is large. 

    Also in sunrises, it’s surprising how quickly the sun can start to rise in a matter of seconds in fact.  So you can get a diffused look rather than a sharp rounded sun.  So it can be beneficial to shoot at f/11 rather than f/22 and with a wide angle, there should be enough depth at f/11.

    One final thing, I read in the Amateur Photographer magazine once how Joe Cornish was creating landscapes using a torch to fill foreground.  This is a neat way to reduce dynamic range if you have a long enough exposure.