a VirtualTourist member asked on Aug 26, 2013
Some tips on how to take great photos at sunrise please
Thank you for your help.
Borobudur does not open its gates until 6 am but if you study the link below there is some useful information. The entrance fee is $15 so for another $20 you can take a sunrise tour that starts at 4.45am OR you can bribe the guards to let you in early as this tourist did.
You have to check in in Manohara Hotel for you to experience and witness the sunrise and sunset while in the Borobodur temple.
It depends on the type of photo you are trying to take, your technical abilities and how talented your camera is. A point & shoot or camera built into a smart phone or tablet can be quite challanging to get good repeatable results as you are fighting the presets that the manufacturer has created.
The short period right after sunrise is usually referred to as "magic hour", where the light is quite diffuse and there are beautiful long shadows. The colour temperature of the light changes quite quickly, and cameras that are set to auto white balance can create some interesting or sometimes awful images. If your camera has presets like "cloudy" or "daylight", try these as they tend to give a warmer, more pleasing colour range.
If you are trying to shoot at the sun, you are going to run into a few problems, based on the way that your light meter works. Light meters "assume" an average level of illumination for a scene (usually something called 18% gray scale), and this works for most scenes. Try shooting at the sun, chances are that the camera will do this averaging and you will end up with a dark, underexposed image. If your camera has a manual or override funciton, try shooting on manual and see if you can adjust the exposure to get a shot that is properly exposed (this is known as bracketing your shot).
Some cameras have a function called HDR or HDRI (which stands for high dynamic range image) and the camera will blend a number of shots together to give better highlight detail and shadow detail.
If you are shooting with a DSLR or one of the mirrorless cameras, you have all kinds of features built in to help. The histogram display is something I always use to judge my exposures in tricky lighting.
Finally, with a digital camera, shoot lots and erase anything that does not work.
Thank you for your answers and help
I have book a 5 night stay at Manohara Hotel in Oct 2013
And will use a 5D MARK II Camera with Lens 16-35 and 24-105 and Tripod.
As you are shooting with a 5D MkII, that gives you a great tool for the shot, and a tripod is certainly not going to hurt. I know a number of people that shoot it, but I have not used one. The tripod certainly won't hurt, especially if you are going to try to construct a sunlight HDRI image.
These are a few sunrise / morning "magic hour" HDRI shots I took around town. Three shots at +2 0 -2 stops are usually good enough for this work (shoot a a fixed aperture setting). The first one is right at the rising sun as it has cleared the horizon.
[original VT link]
I suspect your camera does have an autobracket setting; I find that feature works really well for these shots with odd lighting. I know with my camera (D800) that I can bracket all kinds of settings, such as white balance settings, etc. over and above basic exposure settings.
The other thing I would highly recommend if you can get out and do it is to practice at home and refine your technique before you travel so you have experience as to what does and does not work for you.