#9 ‘Sunrise / Sunset’


Theme: Sunrise / Sunset

Cracking theme, but don’t expect an image like this to drop into your lap, you’re going to have to work for this one!

Personally when you’ve got your Christmas decorations sorted I’d get this one planned in. Find your spot, check the weather and do your best to get a lovely shot. Oh and don’t rush it, you can sometimes get the best colours a few minutes after the sun has dropped below the horizon, just sit tight for a while.

A few things you’re going to need:


Remote shutter release

If you want to get some filters here’s a link to the ones I have. Affordable filter set.

How to Focus training could be useful here, you’ll see me capturing my own sunset in one of the videos.



See the details from challenge #1, I don’t want to keep filling each post with the rules.



You really don’t have to look to hard to find some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, just take a look at these I found on 500px (fast becoming my go-to site for inspiration!)

Take a look at this website with some lovely images including at least one from the above set, if this doesn’t inspire you I reckon you should hang up your camera and go learn to bake!

The UK Landscape – I for one am aiming on capturing an image like this!



Here’s some starting settings to try for your sunset image. You definitely want to be on a tripod and have a remote release (links above if you need them).

First set the camera to manual ‘M’ on the dial and then focus manually about 1/3 of the way into your scene. Set your shutter speed to 1/30sec, your apperture to f16 and your ISO to 100.The last thing is to set your white balance to daylight and your good to go. Now you typically want to underexpose to really bring out the colours in the sky but if you want to darken the image you can increase the shutter speed or increase the aperture number. To brighten it you can decrease the aperture number or shutter speed number (so the shutter is open longer). Sorted. If that doesn’t make sense pop a question below and share where you’re confused. There are no silly questions, I’m here to help 🙂


Get posting!

It’s over to you!

So anytime now you can start posting your ideas below and any questions you have.

At any time through January you can post your final image and hopefully we’ll get a good selection flowing down in the comments below. Feel free to comment on others’ work and please as stated above give us a bit of commentary to go along with your image and the camera’s settings.


  • Robbie

    I wish I would have read the tips for taking photos of sunsets before hand but I didn’t. I can only imagine how this would have looked with a little experience and know how. ISO 100, f5.6, 1/200

    • I can assure you it takes some real skill and practice to get good sunrises or sunsets, I’m nowhere near happy with mine either.
      You’ve done well just capturing the sun on the horizon. Good effort my friend 🙂

    • Darren Goodall

      This is a very nice photo Robbie, the sun between the ground and the cloud .
      Also the reflection off the cloud and the sun.
      your a beginner? Very nice results fella. Well done

  • Debs Cook

    For those who are local, this was taken at the rowing lake in Peterborough. I had my tripod and played around for a good 45 minutes, with my husband getting very impatient and cold! I liked this the most because of the kind swan being in the right place at the right time. f11, 1/640, ISO – 100. I jut increased the exposure slightly afterwards.

    • Darren Goodall

      What great looking place to take your pics, very nice shot.

  • Debs Cook

    Here is another, f/16, 1/60, ISO – 100. Think I prefer the colour on this one, just a lack of birds.

    • Yes, very nice.

    • Darren Goodall

      Love the sun on the water, brilliant

  • Ali Nicolson

    Sunset Kate’s bridge ISO 100 light set to shade the rest auto.

    • Now that’s the kind of image I’ve been trying to capture, a nice big tree with nothing else like the featured image above. The road is great too as it leads your eye into the photo and to the tree, perfect composition! You have a great eye for this Ali, I know nothing about you but i really like your work.
      If you’re interested in trying manual it’s no big jump from what you’re doing. When you review the photo on your camera it should tell you the aperture and shutter speed so all you do then is click round to M and change the settings to the same as your auto. It just means you won’t get inconsistencies, every shot will be the same. You can also start altering the settings easily, going up on the shutter speed simply means coming down on the aperture by the same number of clicks. Simple… when you know how.

    • Darren Goodall

      This is a very nice shot, well done.
      It’s all about the learning and you seem to have mastered the composition elemant Ali.
      Well done!
      Cheers, Darren.

    • LynneO

      Really beautiful. I’d have that on my wall!

  • Hereward gas

    Ferry meadows iso 100 f22 1/100

    • Glad you managed to get the image up Tony, looks like it went up twice in the end.
      What lovely colour in the sky and the reflection is great. I wonder how different it would have looked if you’d have pushed through the bushes though and got a clear sky as I find it a little distracting. that said, many people like the silhouettes so like much of this it’s down to taste.
      Well done mate, glad you got this one in the bag, I’m really struggling with it 🙁

    • Darren Goodall

      These are great

  • Anne Coles

    So I managed to grab a couple of shots of the sunrise on my way to work this week! Just had a quick play in photo shop with one of them to see what happens if I adjust the levels too.

    • Nice! I’m definitely preferring the sunrises this time of year through the haze and some nice frost in the ground. It’s just so cold, you’ve got to really want to capture the photo eh!
      Well done 🙂

    • Darren Goodall

      fantastic colours, just a really nice shot

  • Again, got these while out this morning. Not a colourful sky or anything flash but I quite like how they came out. Literally 5 mins, very quick and easy, be encouraged if you haven’t had a go just keep your camera on you 😉
    ISO – 125
    Aperture – f5
    Shutter – 1/600

  • Darren Goodall

    Very nice shot coach

  • Darren Goodall

    Hi All,

    Its been very wet and overcast summer so far.
    The have been mornings at the train station , no camera of course because I’m off to work and the sun is coming up and it looks magnificent. Very annoying!
    However last night the clouds seem to open up for about 15 mins at sunset and here is my Sunset entry.
    Canon 50 D on my tripod, 24-70 lens
    F-stop 20
    No editing here at all.
    By the way, there have been some really wonderful shots that have been uploaded onto the various pages, well done all.

    • That’s a great reflection mate, I reckon that should be a theme in the next round, what do you think?

      • Darren Goodall

        Reflections, I reckon your onto something.
        Water, glass, stainless steel, mirrors, TV’s that are turned off, the glass from a building, cabinets, baubles, anything!

      • Darren Goodall

        I have been encouraged to place this on the page,
        It’s not eligible In the spirit of the challenge as I tokk it early December.
        The wife and I took the dog for a walk along a beach and if you look carefully you maybe able to make out the fisherman. He has a light on his head.
        I had my 600 D and my 10-22 lens on he front, it was hand held, just a little bit of cleaning up on the desk top editing.
        I do like the shot though.
        In summary people, take your cameras with you

        • it’s a cracker mate! The only thing I might do to enhance it a little is crop it top and bottom, like this… This is a photo that should be on your wall mate, it’s lovely! And thanks for the tip, very true 😉

          • Darren Goodall

            Yep that look great. Cheers

    • LynneO

      I love this, you could almost step in to it. I’m really struggling with this one. Last day of January and still not done it!!

  • Darren Goodall

    Sorry folks I forgot to add this mornings effort ,
    Very over cast too much messing around with the editing,
    this was the best I could achieve,
    Her in doors ,
    C,mon, wer’ orf outtt.
    Have a great day.
    Settings through later

    • Haha, you’ll get shot if ‘her in doors’ reads this!
      That does look very stormy mate!

  • LynneO

    This one doesn’t count as it was taken in March 2013, but I’m really struggling with this one. We’ve had horrible weather all month and when there has been a sunrise or sunset I’ve either been driving to work and couldn’t stop or not had my camera with me/been at home. I didn’t want to miss entering the last photo of the month though as I’ve enjoyed it so much. F5.6 1/640 ISO 160 51mm. As you will see from a lot of my photos I’m a bit of a bugger for wonky horizons, I just love them. One of my friends says a lot of my photos look as though I’ve fallen down a hole ha..ha.. but I just like them like that!!

    • Darren Goodall

      Hi Lynne,
      Everyone’s a critic, I too happen to think it’s a lovely shot that you’ve taken
      The frustration of not having your gear with you when a situation presents itself!!
      It suppose to be summer here in Australia, mmmm bar humbug!
      At the moment it’s a well overcast evening and not must to shoot!
      I do like your shot though,
      Cheers Darren

    • Totally understand the challenge Lynne, it’s so hard being ready for that one sunset that comes along so no problem entering an older one. What a lovely sly with the rays bursting through, you did well exposing for the sky rather than the ground, it looks lovely.

    • Darren Goodall

      Your pic, on the level, yours is so much better, it has a little edge to it!
      “I am doing it my my way” this is what see.
      I like your shot.

  • Ali Nicolson

    Sunset in the Graveyard
    All images ISO 100
    pic 1 17mm f/5.6 1/90
    pic 2 26mm f/6.7 1/90
    pic 3 38mm f/6.7 1/90
    pic 4 28mm f/5.6 1/60
    levels tweaked in lightroom
    Just thought i would add a little foreground interest.

  • Darren Goodall

    I like the shots Ali,
    Had to look a little closer, because it looks like one of the graves is on fire, it’s the Suns reflection off a shiney metal grave surround , brilliant!
    Accident or just good management, yeah good management!
    The shot look great, cheers

  • Darren Goodall

    Hi All,
    I know the challenge is over, I took this on walk around Melbourne Late November last year, I cropped a colour shot , set it to black and white and I managed to get he Suns reflections from one building to another.
    Just dumb luck, I can’t retrieve the settings unfortunately .
    Thanks guys, just thought I’d share it
    Cheers Darren

    • I love the building shots, they’re the kind of thing we have on posters in shops, you could sell that on a stock image site!

  • Ali Nicolson

    Frosted Top
    Tried a different slant on landscapes by blurring it. ISO 100 33mm f/4.5 1/45 sec

    • Darren Goodall

      Great shot, I’ll have to give this a go

    • Nice one Ali, I did a similar thing in mine, good idea well executed 🙂

    • Darren Goodall

      I know I’ve commented, but , I really do like your shot.
      The fence post with all the grain, weathering and then the sun in the back ground.
      It’s just a really nice shot
      Love it

      • Ali Nicolson

        Thanks Darren, I don’t suppose you get many frosty mornings down under.

        • Darren Goodall

          Not at this time of year, but we do get ice on the car when it’s out in the open during winters, the area I live doesn’t get snow, however 2 to 3 hours drive there are ski fields, or resorts!
          Mmmm I prefer the beach. But e do get heavy frost during winters.
          Now then, hav seen where Adrian is?
          What a great spot.
          Mmm I need a holiday!
          Keep shooting Ali!

        • Darren Goodall

          Or you can come down and check it out for your self.
          Spare rooms, zero kids! Yeah

          • Ali Nicolson

            Not if you get Heavy Frost. Get plenty of that here.

          • Darren Goodall

            Only a few few early mornings in winter, not quite like the UK

    • Great image btw Ali, I seem to have missed a few of these on here.

  • Darren Goodall

    Hi all,
    I finally cracked it for a good sunrise , just a little over cast but the light bouncing off the clouds looks great.
    I have not done any editing .
    I used my 600 D , 24-70 lens on a tripod.
    I took about 180 shots all with the ISO at 100, F stop at 22
    All I changed was the Shutter speed.
    Give it a go and the whole feel of the shot changes,
    I was amazed at how a simple thing like the shutter speed made such a difference .
    Cheers all, Darren

    • Ali Nicolson

      nice moody sky in the top image

    • Brilliant Darren! I’m proud of you 🙂 Like Ali said, lovely sky in the top one but I prefer the trees on the second. Quality work, well done, and I love that it was educational too.

  • Darren Goodall

    Hi all,
    Just for the record it’s been the most miserable summer in about 50 years here in Australia.
    If you have friends travelling here, sorry no refunds and it’s their shout at the pub;-)

  • Ali Nicolson

    Dawn at Rutland Water
    Got out of bed at 5 am to get there while still dark. Set up tripod in as central a position as I could get it by eye, using live view. Metered for the sky and jetty separately. There was a two stop difference added ND 2 grad filter. I wanted to smooth out the water so also added a ND 4 and a ND 8 filters.
    ISO 100
    18 mm
    15 Sec

  • Ali Nicolson

    Sunset church
    I had to take three shots of this and then used Lightroom to HDR the images together. I used a tripod and the following settings exposing for the sky, church and the grave stones.
    ISO 100
    18 mm
    1/125 sec (sky)
    1/25 sec (Church)
    1/8 sec (grave stones)

  • Ali Nicolson

    It was strange light that morning. The next few shoots were with a 30 sec exposure with the same filters. I think the sun was at the right angle to bounce the light off the clouds.

  • Ali Nicolson

    I shoot everything in raw now. I find that if I push the shadows to much in Lightroom, I get a lot of noise (red speckle). Maybe need one of those full frame sensor cameras (on wish list). The good thing about Lightroom is when you use the HDR feature you get a raw image to play with.

    • I’m surprised it’s that bad Ali.

      • Ali Nicolson

        I find that anything pushed over 60 to 70 in the shadows in Lightroom starts to get noise.

  • Darren Goodall

    no not these ones,

  • Ali Nicolson

    Love the colours in the sky and the clock tower. The white line at the bottom is a bit distracting, but great capture. Not seeing the second image for some reason.

    • Darren Goodall

      I’m not sure why it’s not visible.
      Here it is again
      Have a great day.

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