Five Keys to Taking Stunning Sunrise and Sunset Photos with Your iPhone | iPhone Savvy

Five Keys to Taking Stunning Sunrise and Sunset Photos with Your iPhone

The most beautiful time of day can also be the trickiest time to take great photos.

There’s something magical that happens every day, twice a day without fail. The sunrise and sunset. It’s a time when Mother Nature shines a light on the beauty all around us. 

All types of settings are great for photographers to capture the perfect sunrise or sunset photo. 

  • If you’re lucky enough to be on a beach, there’s nothing like seeing the sun rise or set over the water.
  • If you’re in the country, the stunning glow over the horizon makes everything more interesting. 
  • Sprinkle in some clouds in the city and you have a jaw-dropping scene.

Capturing the essence of the beautiful setting can have it’s challenges. Especially if you’re trying to include people in your photos. It can be hard to get the focus and exposure right, and find an interesting composition.

Your beautiful scene often ends up reflected as disappointment in your images, not at all what you remember that moment looking like in person. Instead of a cool sunset photo, you end up with another lackluster snapshot. 

However, with a little practice and know-how, you can take consistently great photos during this challenging, yet beautiful time of day.

Here are 5 keys to taking stunning sunrise and sunset photos with your iPhone: 

1 - Minimize camera shake


  • Since natural daylight is at it’s lowest point, it’s important to keep your iPhone steady so you can capture a sharp photo.
  • If you don’t have a tripod, see if there is an object nearby you can use to rest your iPhone on to help stabilize your camera.
  • You can also hold your iPhone steady by bringing your arms close to your chest and tucking in your elbows.  

2 - Align with the horizon


  • Composing your photo using the rule of thirds is a good option during sunrise and sunset. If you haven’t done so already, go to your iPhone Settings > Camera > and turn on the grid. 
  • Align the horizon in either the bottom third of the scene to capture more sky, or the top third of the scene to capture more foreground.
  • Don’t forget to straighten the horizon as best you can, but don’t stress about it--you can always straighten it later when editing your photo. 

3 - Find an interesting subject


  • You may be tempted to use the sun as the subject in your photo. However, finding another interesting subject in the scene can make the photo much more interesting.  
  • If your’e lucky enough to have birds flying around or people walking by, embrace the opportunity! It’s the perfect time to use burst mode on your camera to capture the perfect shot. 
  • Move around the scene and look for trees, buildings or other objects to frame your sunrise or sunset photo beautifully.  

4 - Embrace silhouettes


  • If you’ve convinced someone to pose with the sun behind them, it’s difficult to illuminate your subject, which makes it a great time to embrace silhouettes.
  • Silhouettes add drama and mystery to your photos. Save the clear, brightly lit faces for daytime photography. 
  • To capture a silhouette, tap your screen near the sun and adjust your exposure until your subject appears darker. You can adjust the darkness during editing. 


5 -  Look around for opportunities


  • While you’re waiting for the sun to get in the perfect position, look around! You’ll have plenty of time to capture that fleeting moment when the sun hits the horizon. 
  • You’re photographing during the golden hour, which is typically the most interesting light of the day. 
  • Look at the sky behind you, and subjects nearby that are casting shadows or are illuminated by the golden glow of the sun. 

Use these five keys to taking stunning sunrise and sunset photos the next time you find yourself in a beautiful setting. 

You’ll be amazed and proud of the photos you can capture using your iPhone!