Learn with these eight photographers as they share their favorite photos and offer their top advice on taking images of breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
The photographer Catherine Opie once said, “The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset.” A few years later, another artist, Penelope Umbrico, agreed, telling The Guardian, “Sunset photography is the biggest cliche.” It’s true; one look through Instagram hashtags like #sunset_pics and #sunrise_and_sunsets reveals millions of images taken by people around the world. But a cliche isn’t a bad thing; in fact, common subjects open up a whole new world of endless possibilities for reinvention.
No matter how many golden hour photos we see, we crave more. Both Opie and Umbrico use the prevalence of sunset and sunrise images to their advantage, working with dusk and/or dawn as a recurring subject. In 2008, the designer Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino created yet another testament to the magic hour when she built a website called Constant Setting, which automatically published a new sunset photograph every minute of the day.
Sunrise and sunset are popular for a reason; there’s hardly anything more beautiful than a well-done photo of the sun peeking up from or dipping back into the horizon. We asked eight Shutterstock contributors to share some of their best golden hour photos, taken across the globe. Along the way, they shared their advice for capturing unforgettable images.
1. “Shoot from the same viewpoint in different seasons. The same sunset looks very different in summer and in winter.”
Image by vvvita. Gear: Canon EOS 5DS camera, Canon EF 16-35 f/4L lens. Focal length 26mm; exposure 1/125 sec EV -0,3; f4; ISO 200.
What’s the story behind this photo?
On my last trip to Norway, I was driving from Nordkapp to the Lofoten Islands. I had not planned on making a lot of stops until reaching the island of Senja, but the sudden change in weather gave me a good opportunity to shoot some picturesque sunsets. After a dry and sunny day, the clouds came up, and it started to rain heavily. After a while, the clouds began to dissipate, revealing a beautiful sunset with rainbows that I couldn’t miss. As the sun went down, the colors of the sky changed dramatically.