Difference Between Sunrise And Sunset Photos

By | 18/11/2022

Discover the main differences between sunrise and sunset photography. Acquire how to make the about out of each light condition!

sunrise vs sunset photography

Practice yous recollect the first fourth dimension y’all took a photo of a sunrise or dusk? I practice. I was on a family holiday, by the sea, and I realized that the sun would prepare just behind a little island. The terminal paradigm was terrible, with a kleptomaniacal horizon, overexposed, and a complete lack of anything that resembled a good composition,… But at that fourth dimension I was super proud of my photography.

What fabricated information technology special was the light. The heaven was on fire, and the light was just perfect. Afterwards this mean solar day, I have captures hundreds of sunrises and sunsets, not to say thousands. However, they are not the same.
Sunrise and dusk are great moments for photography, simply each one has something special.

What is the best selection, sunrise or sunset? To answer this question y’all need to know what are the
main differences betwixt sunrise vs sunset
in photography!

Looking for a way to meliorate your photography skills?

Sunrise vs sunset photography: what is better?

  1. Sunrise vs sunset: terminology
    • What is the bluish hour?
    • What is the aureate hr?
  2. Sunrise vs sunset differences
    • Light quality
    • Sun position
      • How to know the dominicus position at sunrise or dusk
    • Sunrise and sunset hours: fewer people at sunrise!
    • In-location scouting
    • Sunrise vs sunset weather conditions
      • Fog
      • Reflections
  3. Sunrise vs sunset in photography: what is better?

Sunrise vs dusk: terminology

In that location are two concepts that I will be talking almost a lot in this article. If yous already know what golden hr and bluish hour mean, you tin skip this section. Otherwise, I recommend reading the following lines.

What is the blue hour?

The blueish hour is a period of time that happens
earlier sunrise and afterward sunset
. The chief characteristic of this fourth dimension of the mean solar day is the blueish light that dominates the atmosphere. The reason why this happens is long and difficult to explicate. However, you can visualize the bluish hr as the moment when the sun has already set or all the same has to ascent.

The chief reason why blueish hour is appreciated in photography is because of its soft light and special tones. Especially in cities, or night landscapes, the
light is mode better during the blue hr than at nighttime

what is blue hour photography
Blue 60 minutes at Prague’s Charles Span

What is the golden hour?

Earlier the blue hour (during sunset) and afterwards the blueish 60 minutes (during sunrise), there is the golden 60 minutes. If y’all want a quick and applied definition of what the golden hour is, this might work. The gold hour is that moment of the day when yous feel the urge to catch your phone or camera and start taking photos. When
the light takes a yellow, golden tone that coincides with the sunrise or dusk

The elapsing of the gilt hr depends on many things, such as the location or the flavor. In places like the arctic circumvolve, it tin even last for well-nigh of the day during the summer months!

what is golden hour photography
Golden hour lights

Sunrise vs dusk differences

Calorie-free quality

I used to believe that sunrise and sunset lights were identical, that the just thing that changed was what the sunday was doing.

Just this is not true. Although in both situations we have a blue hour and a gilt hour menstruum, the lite is not identical.
Sunrises tend to have a more bluish tone, whereas sunsets tend to have a yellower tone. This difference tin exist more noticeable at the moment that the dominicus sets or rises, as in one instance, after many hours of darkness the dominicus rises, and in the other case, the sun sets after illuminating the scene for hours. Some people say that this difference can be due to the greater number of particles in the atmosphere during sunset. Temperatures do play a crucial factor here also.

However, both situations can lead to magical skies, burning with colours, simply I prefer sunrise tones. The scene goes from complete darkness to a slowly growing light that I find magical. As a comparison, here you take ii unedited images from sunrise and sunset.

Sun position

One of the chief differences in photography between sunrise and sunset is that the
sun does non ascent and fix at the same spot. Aye, it is really obvious, but so important when deciding when to accept a photo.

In fact, I would say this is the almost important factor of landscape sunrise dusk photography planning. Imagine yous want to take a photo of the sun on the horizon from a beautiful beach. Depending on where this beach is, the lord’s day will rising from the bounding main or set from the body of water. Therefore, this will determine when you lot have o accept the photo. Well, unless yous are in a pole, due north or due south. Then savour your weird sunrise/dusk experience.

Moreover, the position of the sun is non the same throughout the year, so some photos might only exist possible o have once or twice a year. Fortunately, in that location is a manner to know the exact position of the sun in a specific place and time.

sun position in sunrise and sunset photography

How to know the sun position at sunrise or sunset

Many apps and web pages tin can tell you this. My favourite i is
Photopills, a very complete app that will show you the exact lord’s day

position, and the predicted sunrise or sunset position, not only on the map but also on augmented reality using your smartphone camera. Yes, you lot accept to pay to get information technology, but it is so worth it!

Here you have an instance from a sunset session I did at the Basque Country. Select the position, see the augmented reality version, and take the photo! Easy-peasy.

10 apps to improve your photos

Discover the best apps for photography hither!

Photopills to predict sunrise and sunset locations.
Photopills dusk prediction

Azkorri beach sunset at Basque Country predicted by telepills
Final sunset image. Azkorri beach, Basque Land

Sunrise and sunset hours: fewer people at sunrise!

It is not a hugger-mugger that taking a sunrise photo requires waking upward very early on. Over again, information technology will depend on the season and the place where yous are, just mostly speaking,
sunrises requires getting out of bed earlier people end partying
. And it has its pros and its cons.

On the other mitt, sunsets can happen very late, more often than not during the summer season. If you similar waiting for the bluish hour (subsequently sunset), you lot could be taking photos about until midnight, and waking up for the sunrise blue hour would mean sleeping non many hours.

sunrises tend to be less massified. People don’t similar getting up early. Instead, they prefer to bask a cute afternoon walking somewhere and so take some photos. This is why I prefer going on sunrise missions. Almost no people, and bluish lights.

During my trips, I have experienced amazing sunrises and sunsets, but when I am exploring a city I honey waking up at crazy hours for sunrise. If you are visiting any European city between May and October and want clean shots of the streets, waking upwards early is a must (avert weekends). Hither yous have a comparison betwixt sunrise and sunset in Gdansk, Poland.

In-location scouting

If the previous item was a point in favour of sunrise, this one goes to sunset. Unless y’all already know the location, sunrise photography is very express in terms of location scouting. Besides the difficulty of getting to the spot you desire to exist in consummate darkness, it is also quite hard to find the perfect spot on the first attempt.

sunset offers the adventure to visit the location in good lite conditions, detect your composition, and wait for the perfect moment to have the photo.

While information technology is true that there are means to scout earlier being in-location, especially when it is the first time visiting a spot, y’all can miss some photos by choosing sunrise instead of sunset.

How to take improve sunrise or sunset photos

A step by stride guide here!

planning sunrise sunset
Planning tin be key for sunrise or dusk photography

Sunrise vs sunset conditions conditions

The terminal main deviation between sunrise and sunset is the weather condition conditions. While there is not a fixed rule, I would say that
sunrise offers ameliorate conditions conditions when information technology comes to photography compared to sunset
. 2 of the nigh noticeable differences are fog and reflections.


Fog is one of the trickiest atmospheric condition weather. While information technology can be predicted, it depends on thousands of variables, and conditions tin change really fast. While sunrise and sunset are both good moments to notice fog, especially in places where fog is common, information technology is a bit
more than likely to find fog at sunrise compared to sunset.

Humidity is 1 of the primary variables to monitor when it comes to predicting fog, and nighttime tends to be more humid than daytime. nonetheless, fog is quite unpredictable. Moreover, there are different types of fog.

1 bully example is the Fanal forest in Madeira. Although it is quite mutual to find fog at sunrise and/or sunset, the perfect conditions for photography are really difficult to get. Either there is fog combined with rain (bad for photography), or the fog s too dense.

both sunrise and sunset are good times to find fog

(if the conditions conditions are favourable).

fog sunrise madeira
A great foggy sunrise in Madeira’south famous Fanal wood


Imagine beingness by a beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains, reflecting on the water. And so the air current starts bravado and it is impossible to take a good image. Although this will happen to yous many times, when comparing sunrise and sunset,
it is more likely to have better conditions for reflection photography at sunrise rather than at dusk. Long exposures can exercise the flim-flam, and it is not a 100% reliable guideline, simply sunrises tend to be less windy than sunsets.

Have as an example the post-obit images from Lake Kawaguchiko in Japan. Both were taken from the aforementioned spot, however ane was taken at sunrise and the other one at sunset. Although the lake is non totally quiet, it was possible to get the reflection simply at sunrise, meanwhile some hours after, it was completely impossible to get it, non fifty-fifty using a long exposure as I did.

mt fuji reflection sunset by aniolvisuals
Windy dusk by Mt. Fuji

sunrise mount fuji reflection tips by aniolvisuals
Quiet sunrise by Mt. Fuji

Sunrise vs sunset in photography: what is better?

Sunrise and sunset have both their pros and cons. Some of them can be avoided by scouting online or taking a mid-day nap. Others are incommunicable to avoid, such as the sunday position.

Take all the data you lot know about the location, conditions and the type of photography you lot desire to take and make up one’s mind. And retrieve,
declining is the only way to become ameliorate at photography.

Remember the story almost the kickoff dusk photograph I took? It was then that I learnt that light matters when taking a photograph. The lite was perfect, the tones were platonic, … but I also learnt something else. Taking your photos during golden hour or blue hour is not enough.
Composition, planning and technical skills are way more of import than the sky, clouds or any other weather-related variable.

That being said, I am squad sunrise. What about you? If y’all want to come across some crazy sunrises, dusk, and more than photography and travel-related content, make sure to follow me on
(@aniolvisuals). For any other inquiries, you can get in touch with me via my contact page or by sending an email at hello@aniolvisuals.com.

Source: https://aniolvisuals.com/sunrise-vs-sunset-photography/