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April 28th, 2013 - 08:34 AM
Most new photographers who want to capture "great" sunrises or sunsets will try to work while the sun is already up in the mornings or while the sun is still up in the afternoons. Although great images can be captured at these times, I find the the most dramatic scenes can be captured before the sun comes up over the horizon in the morning and after the sun is below the horizon in the early evenings. The image you see was captured at the Boulders Golf and Spa Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona on 03/27/2010 at 8:12 pm, the camera settings were ISO 1600 at 1/50th of a second and F/2.8. The lights in the near background are from houses on the golf course and the fireplace was on one of their reception patios, it does get cold in the desert at night. As you can see the sun has set and the image captured the reds, pinks and oranges of the sand dust in the air and the various tonality of the sky all the way to cobalt blues and beyond.
To shoot dramatic sunrises and sunsets:
Get up way before the sun comes up and be ready to shoot about an hour before sunrise. Set your ISO to about 800 and meter in the direction where the sun is going to come up (east south east) you should be seeing hints of light coming from that direction. Shoot some images a little under exposed and some a little over exposed as well. As the sun gets ready to show itself start dropping you ISO gradually from 800 to 620, 400, 320 the after the sun is up go to 200.
The same technique only in reverse wait for the sun to drop below the horizon and start raising your ISO from 200 up to 800. You'll be able to capture amazing images for about an hour after sunset using this method.
It is better if there is something on the horizon not just water, sky lines are great because the buildings are silhouetted.