strategy for sunrise/sunset exposures?

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bjn70 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,762
strategy for sunrise/sunset exposures?

I've tried several times to get good sunrise/sunset images. From my experience it seems that having favorable cloud conditions will be hit or miss. For most of my attempts there have been almost no clouds. That's not the part I'm asking about, I'm asking about what strategy you use for exposures.

I've set my camera to manual and usually shoot 3 different bracketed exposures. I discovered that a fairly dark exposure is needed at one end of the bracketing to keep from blowing out too much of what is surrounding the sun. What is a good increment for bracketing?

What about timing? Is it easier to get a good shot if the sun is completely obscured? What about when the sun starts breaking over the horizon, is that just too much light?

Here is a sample sequence.  This is sunrise taken from the White Rim trail on the east side of Canyonlands Island district.  There isn't much scenery in this image, it was an experiment to see what images I could get to try to combine in software.

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