Sunrise Photography Settings

Best Sunrise Photography Settings – Everything You Need to Know

Taking pictures of various things is a lot of fun, to be honest. However, the thing with photography is that you will need to take pictures of various subjects, you will have to make adjustments to the camera settings. For instance, if you are doing product photography, the settings you would go for would be different than the settings you would need for landscape photography.

Someone recently asked us about the best sunrise photography settings, and that got me thinking that a lot of people might actually not really know about the settings, so we are going to help you figure out the settings and in this post, we are going to look into detail about the best sunrise photography settings. So, let’s not waste time and explore every possible setting through which you can take some stunning sunrise photos.

Sunrise Photography

What are the Factors That Influence Sunrise Photography? 

Before we look into the settings that you are going to need for the sunrise photography, we are going to have to understand the factors that influence the photography, in the first place. You see, whether you are capturing sunset or sunrise, there are a lot of things that are playing a role. However, the most important aspect here, that a lot of people don’t talk about enough is the timing.

Tips to Take Stunning Sunrise Pictures

If your timing is not right, you might never be able to capture the sun or the moon, for that matter, properly, and that is one thing that we all need to know. There are things that can go wrong, yes, but as a photographer, you have to be prepared.  Another thing that I would suggest is that you consider weather as another determinant that can ruin your plan to take the perfect photo. I do understand that not everyone thinks of it but a bad weather can easily come in the way of you taking the perfect sunset photo.

I would also suggest that before you decide to take the best shot possible, you do some practice runs. The reason for practice runs is rather simple, you would be able to get a better understanding of what you need to do and what you need to avoid.

I do understand that taking pictures of the sunrise can be a complicated process for newcomers and in many cases, it requires a lot of practice and determination but once you have sorted it out, you will be fine.

Best Sunrise Photography Settings 

Now, when it comes to taking pictures of the sunrise, you have to understand that the usual camera settings might not really work. And considering how we are always trying to convince our readers that it is best if they take photos using manual mode because that way, you will be able to get the best results possible.

Sunrise Photography

For now, however, we are going to focus on every possible setting that you can go ahead and use for some stunning sunrise pictures. So, let’s not waste time and get started. 

  • Half an Hour Before Sunrise: To make it simpler for everyone, I would suggest that you keep your ISO at 400, your Shutter Speed around 20-40 seconds for long exposure, and 1/400 to 1/2000 second for shorter exposure. The aperture should be f/2.8.
  • Sunrise: if you are trying to capture the sunrise, I’d say the ISO should be at 100, Shutter Speed at 1/2-5 seconds, aperture at f/14 or f/6.
  • Post Sunrise: In such a case, ISO should be 100, shutter speed somewhere around 1/15th – 1/200th of a second, aperture should be set to somewhere between f/2.8 and f/11. 

I do understand that these settings might be confusing to some people but generally, the idea here is to make things as flexible as possible for everyone. After all, camera hardware alone makes a difference and people are often left confused as to how to sort that aspect out, in the first place. Thankfully, with this post, the idea is to make things easier and simpler for everyone so you really don’t have to worry much.

Some Important Tips to Take the Most Stunning Sunrise Pictures

Now that we have looked at the factors that influence sunrise pictures as well as the best settings that you can use, we are now going to walk you through some important tips that will help you a lot in making sure that you are taking the best pictures possible.

These tips can be used for both sunset and sunrise photos, meaning that you can take the type of photos you want without a lot of hassle, which is what we always want when it comes to taking such pictures, to be honest. Let’s not waste time and have a look, shall we?

Camera Setting for Photography
  • Scouting the Location: This is something that I always tell everyone when it comes to taking pictures of the sunset. If you are looking to make sure that you are getting the best results, it is always advised that you scout the location in the best way possible so you do not have to feel like you are doing something wrong. Scouting can be complicated but it helps you in a way that lets you study the angles and everything in between, making the process even easier in every single case. It is not something that you should ever overlook.
  • Planning in Advance: Once you have scouted the location, you have a better understanding of what needs to be done and what needs to be avoided. This is the part where you start planning how you are going to take a photo. If you have seen Peter McKinnon’s The Bucket Shot, then you’ll know what I am talking about. Go watch that short film on YouTube and you’ll get an idea about why planning in is so important. I do understand that most photographers wish that they just wake up and take the best shot of their life but that doesn’t often work because of the unpredictable factors that can come in the play. 
  • Using the Right Settings: Although I don’t have to mention this but this is an article where we are talking about the sunrise photo settings, so it would make no sense if we don’t talk about it, right? Well, in order to take the best pictures, you have to keep the settings of your camera in mind and you can go through this article to know about those.
  • Don’t Forget Composition: Composition is the key to take stunning images and I have seen so many photographers simply throwing that out of the window. It does not matter what you are photographing, Don’t just capture the sunrise itself, add some character to it while you are at it, and you will be surprised just how good it looks.
  • Be Patient: The last thing that I would suggest is that you should always be patient whenever it comes to taking pictures of the sunrise or sunset, or anything that involves any sort situation where weather can be an influence. If you think that taking a single picture alone is not enough, try again because it really is worth it. IF you have to keep trying until you get the perfect shot, then go ahead and do that. The goal here is to be sure that the picture you are trying to take gets taken the perfect way without any issues.

Using the aforementioned tips, you will be able to take perfect sunrise photography. So, if you are looking for a proper experience, this is an excellent way of going forward.


If you have been trying and struggling to take the best sunrise photography and you are wondering about the settings that you should go with, then this post is for you. The purpose of this post is simple, we want to be sure that every knows how to get the best possible picture of the sunrise with your camera.

The best thing is that you can go ahead and use the same settings on every camera, and even if you do want to make some changes to the settings, you can easily do that without running into too many issues. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

This honestly varies, and in this article, we have discussed various shutter speeds that you can go for. It is going to help you a lot to have a better understanding.

I would advise that you go with a lens with a wider focal length so you can capture a better looking horizon.

In order to shoot longer exposure sunrise, you will need longer shutter speed, and that way, you will be able to take long exposure sunrise pictures.

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