I took an early morning drive today to the Tessellated Pavement Tasmania which is one of my favourite spot for sunrises. I have been meaning to re-shoot the pavements for a long time and the forecast overnight was for clear skies with showers developing during the day which to me meant the perfect combination for photographing the sunrise – ie plenty of clear sky, along with the potential for cloud which is needed to catch the colour. A sunrise in a completely cloud free sky can be nice, but for photography some cloud in the scene is great. It is of course another “goldilocks” situation, too much cloud is going to ruin the sunrise, too little is not great – it has to be just right, and this morning it was indeed – just right.
The most important accessories for sunrise photos are: ND grads, and shutter release cable. Actually, when shooting seascapes, add gumboots to the list too (of course if you live in warmer climes than southern Tasmania you could go barefoot or in sandals, but I digress…). Even though getting up early is tough enough, I recommend being in location up to one hour before the sun is due to rise. This gives you time to walk to your exact shooting location, set up your filters and cables, and work out your composure. For those who are ultra organised, visiting your location the afternoon/evening prior to a sunrise shoot to look for foreground features is a GREAT idea.
The unknown (and uncontrollable) factor is of course the sunrise itself, so looking at weather forecasts is about the best you can do. Sometimes it pays to go anyway, as my last visit to the Tessellated Pavements was in fact sans sunrise but still resulted in a really nice steel grey dawn.
I run a series of Tasmanian Photography Tours & Workshops and would love to share more tips and tricks in some truly beautiful locations. Browse the workshops then contact me to discuss joining. All images are available as fine art prints.