Spring Sunrise East Coast

by Syd Lawson
(Oamaru New Zealand)



Could not resist snapping this.

I was going to my letterbox to pick up my morning paper but rushed back into the house and grabbed my camera.

A bit rushed but still quite happy with the result

(For convenience, all links below open in new windows)

A sunrise, water, boats in the harbour – all the elements a photographer requires for a stunning shot!

Syd certainly did the right thing in rushing back in to grab his camera. Sunrises (and sunsets) change quickly. It's a good idea to snap away at them as they change from minute to minute.

Luckily, with digital photography, it won't cost anything either – just print out the best, and ditch the rest!

So what are the good aspects of Syd's photo, and what could improve it further?

First of all, the picture has a lot of foreground interest. Boats in the harbour, a jetty . . . all this makes for a more interesting sunrise photo.

Then there is the reflection on the water and the cloud in the sky. Cloud really gives sunrise (and sunset) photos some interest.

The colours also create a nice warmth – lovely orange glow!

So what could improve this photo?

My first suggestion would be to straighten the shot. The sea is tipping from left to right, ready to run out of the right side of the photo.

With water shots like this the horizon really should be perfectly horizontal. And if it was a bit wonky in the original photo, well, that's what PhotoShop is for!

I say PhotoShop, but any image editing software will have a crop tool, and using it will enable you to straighten a wonky horizon. Click to read how to use the crop tool.

Another suggestion would be to either make more of the buildings and trees at the bottom of the photo (i.e. include a little more of them), or crop them out completely.

At the moment they are not quite in the shot, but not quite out of the shot either! Best to be one or the other.

My only other suggestion goes back to the software. Try increasing the contrast and saturation a little. Again, any image editing software will be capable of this.

Don't go too far with these tools though, otherwise the photo can break up and 'posterize'. A little boost though could really improve the punchy-ness of this photo.

To find out a lot more about image processing give this downloadable course a try. There's a free demo available so it won't cost anything to look.

I like the photo though; thanks Syd for the submission. And obviously I (and no doubt many other readers) are incredibly jealous that this is your 'morning paper' view!


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Nov 26, 2008
by: Syd

Thank you Lori for the kind words...I have seen some of your photos on here and think they are Superb, so I think any good comments from you is double praise

Nov 20, 2008
by: Lori Arnold

I Think this photo is just stunning..I love the golden colors of the water,..It classes up the shot..the harbor, the clouds...perfection!

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