December 23, 2020 at 12:29 pm #56293
I go to the beach often and always enjoy taking pictures of the sunrises. This is one of the best ones that I’ve gotten (that’s fairly recent), so I just wanted to see how I could make it better. I am always eager to learn more about photography as I am basically self taught:) Any tips would be nice so that I can improve future pictures as well:)December 23, 2020 at 1:46 pm #56302Frazer FamilyParticipant
Hey @alightforhim, welcome to the forums!
That is a great shot; those are some really dramatic clouds, and the contrast in the colour of the sky really adds a lot to the picture.
I feel like the shot needs a few tweaks in post-processing, though.
The first thing I noticed was the horizon. It’s almost straight. Take a good hard look at your horizon, and try and make it perfectly straight in post-processing. (If ever you hung this picture on the wall, you wouldn’t want to have it hang crooked.) It’s surprising how far that will go to improve the shot.
Secondly, lighten up the dark parts (shadows) of the picture a bit. The beach is so dark, that it’s somewhat difficult to see it as an element in the photo.
Next time you go photoshooting, you could try experimenting with a lower-to-the-ground compostion, to include more foreground elements. See https://www.lenspiration.photos/landscapes for lots of good ideas.
Hope this helps,
William FrazerDecember 23, 2020 at 2:15 pm #56307December 23, 2020 at 2:18 pm #56309
One thing I did to make it less distracting, was to remove the three people in the foreground. 🙂December 23, 2020 at 3:34 pm #56310
Yeah I thought it might have been to dark, but didn’t really think much of it. I’ll try to straighten the horizon, it’s hard for me to get it perfectly straight because I never have my tripod with me so the photos are always handheld. Thank you for the tips, William!
And the edit looks much better, Ernest!
December 23, 2020 at 6:34 pm #56315
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Cadence Church.
Hi @alightforhim, that’s a beautiful sunrise shot, the rays of which remind me of a sunset picture I took at Cottesloe Beach several years ago. You can find some tips in the embedded link; even though they apply to sunsets, I believe some could be used for sunrises, since a sunrise is simply a sunset in reverse.
If I were you, I would definitely straighten the horizon. When taking the shot, I would have my camera display a Rule of Thirds grid so that I can align the horizon with the grid. In post-processing, I would increase the saturation, and yes, brighten up the foreground elements.
Nicely edited photo, @ernestf-lloyd! I wish the clouds were colourful, but I guess that would be the case if the sun were at the horizon.December 24, 2020 at 8:33 pm #56327
@joshua_ong thanks for the tips. I’ll have to try putting the rule of thirds on my camera display. I don’t think that I’ve ever done that before, so hopefully it’ll help. Hope you have a Merry Christmas:)December 24, 2020 at 8:38 pm #56328
btw @joshua_ong I looked at that link with the sunrise/sunset info on it and it really helped. I hope that we go to the beach again soon so that I can test out all the suggestion mentioned there. Thanks again:)December 25, 2020 at 4:05 am #56331
No worries, @alightforhim! I’m glad you found the tips helpful. Have a safe and Merry Chrissy!December 25, 2020 at 8:33 am #56332December 26, 2020 at 5:32 pm #56338James StaddonKeymaster
You’ve got great raw material here! You might be surprised to hear that many epic photos start out looking just like this. Of course, composition and subject play major roles in how epic a photo looks, but you do have dynamic lighting here so some editing would certainly be helpful here. I don’t have the large, uncompressed, raw file so it will appear rather low quality, but here’s how I would edit this photo if it were my own. And since you exposed for the highlights, I was able to retain much of the cloud detail, which is usually how I expose for these types of high-contrast scenes.December 26, 2020 at 5:55 pm #56340Ezra MorleyModerator
I’m not qualified to give any additional tips on composition, other than the ones that have been already given; @jamesstaddon is the acknowledged expert in the composition arena. 🙂
But when I saw everyone else giving their suggested edits, then I figured I’d chime and contribute my 2 cents. James is right; if you had a RAW file, or even the original JPG, you could get lots better results, but I was surprised how well even this little compressed JPG file turned out!
The photo was about 3 stops underexposed, so it took some major tweaking to get it back to what I thought looked fairly “normal”.
If you learn how to edit your photos well, you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make in how “happy” you are with your shots. I made a video tutorial a long time ago teaching some of the basics of photo editing with RawTherapee. Someday I still plan to update it, and maybe even make one for LR. 🙂 If you pay attention to the principles though, you can use whatever software is available to achieve very similar results. Keep trying!December 27, 2020 at 8:43 am #56346
Hey @jamesstaddon and @buddingphotographer, love how you bring out the details in the foreground. I tried editing the picture in RawTherapee and was surprised to arrive at an edited photo similar to your post-processed pictures. Guess I must be on the right track, then. Photo editing is not as difficult as I had thought. 🙂
@alightforhim, hopefully, the screenshot of the edited photo in RawTherapee helps you with editing this photo should you choose this software for processing purposes.December 27, 2020 at 10:22 am #56349
@jamesstaddon, thank you!
@buddingphotographer thanks for the tips:) I’ll have to experiment with different settings on my camera so that photos aren’t underexposed… I’m still learning, so everything is trial and error for me!
@joshua_ong your screenshot does help, thanks:) Editing isn’t super difficult for me, it’s just a matter of figuring out what all the different sliders and such do 😉
December 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm #56351
- This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Cadence Church.
@jamesstaddon, love the photo that you ended up with!
I have an anathema towards blown-out skies, so I tend to swing to far in the other direction.
The lightened up clouds do look a lot more realistic. I would’ve loved to have been there so that I knew exactly what it was like.
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