• Nikon D7100, 1/60 second, f 16, ISO 400

First Blog: Robert Bailey

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Welcome to our new website in general and to the creation of this monthly blog in particular. Here, members will have an opportunity to present an image and either provide the back story of how the featured image came to be or some helpful tips to take such a picture. As the months and years spin by, this space will make for some very interesting reading as our membership will become like a chorus singing the praises of nature photography.

Robert Bailey, our fearless and esteemed leader, was invited to submit this, our first blog entry; enjoy!
Bob McCallum – Webmaster.


This sunrise was over the Atlantic Ocean but it could have occurred on any body of water large enough to produce waves when the wind is blowing.

I want to mention a few simple things about sunrise photography:

  1. Weather: Stormy, cloudy weather usually produces the most dramatic photos.  If there are no clouds the sunrise will usually not be very dramatic.
  1. Timing: You can look up online what time the sun will rise each day in your location.  You need to be out and ready to shoot at least 30 minutes before the sun will rise.

Quite often the drama happens before the sun peaks over the horizon.  Also quite often, as soon as the sun breaks over the horizon it is time to quit shooting (unless there are lots of clouds).

  1. Consistency: If I’m in a location where I can get good sunrise (or sunset) photos I make a point of going out every day prepared to shoot it.  Every day will be completely different, and of course, some days are better than others.
  1. Shutter Speed: If you’re shooting over water, and you want to “freeze” the motion of the waves, you will have to use a fast shutter speed (probably at least 1/500 second).  (You may need to crank up the ISO to get this fast shutter speed.)

You will get a completely different look if you use a slow shutter speed (let’s say 8 seconds or longer).

  1. Graduated Neutral Density Filters: It is often close to impossible to get a good exposure of both the water and the sky (with the sky being a lot brighter).  The solution is to use a graduated neutral density filter to darken the sky so it matches the brightness of the water.  There are two ways to do this:

(a)  You can use a rectangular physical filter that will attach to the front of your lens.

(b)  Particularly with a straight horizon (like water) you can use the computer equivalent of the same filter.  (I used the filter in Adobe Camera Raw for this image.)

  1. Computer Adjustments: Be cautious about over-enhancing the colours of the photo!  I see so many photos where people have “gone crazy” with cranking up the vibrancy of colours in the photo, and it now looks completely bizarre and fake!

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