The Secret to Photography Success? Wake Up Early

Lacking inspiration for some landscape photos? Well, if you take the advice Janez Tolar offers you, you’ll be in for some great shots:

Tolar chases sunrises while others still sleep and dream. At the earliest hours, he’s already out there hunting for images. And he thinks you should do that, too. Landscape photography is best accomplished before, during, and right after sunrise.

sunrise over mountains

In the period before sunrise the light is nice and even, with great color gradients in the sky. The time during and right after sunrise is perfect for dramatic high contrast shots that catch the viewer’s eye every time.

mountain landscape lit by rising sun

Before you head out to photograph the sunrise, you’ll probably want to get a gradual neutral density filter in order to gain exposure in the shadow areas of your images while also having the sky exposed nicely. If you’re planning to shoot near water, a circular polarizing filter is a good addition; it gives you control over the reflections generated by the sunrise.

Photography aside, the peace and quiet before sunrise—while everybody else is asleep—will clear your mind and boost your productivity.

After watching Tolar’s beautiful video, Before You Wake Up, you might just want to get out of bed early tomorrow morning.

“I wake up early, so I can wake the sun up. Not the other way around.”

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  1. William Chinn says:

    Just remember the sun also sets if you can stay out that long (driving in the dark). Missed many a great shot relying on a tour bus to get me there and back.

  2. Ha, apparently getting up early is good not only of productivity but also for photos :) and probably for many other things.

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