Taking photographs at different points of the day will give you different images of the same place. But, if you want to capture your city differently, then there is no better time than dawn to capture the beautiful, still and calm look of the otherwise busy city. Below are some tips that will help you take some spectacular photographs of the city you live in at the crack of dawn.


The blue hour at sunrise

This time between night and sunrise is one of the best times to create the most amazing shots of your city. As the light changes quickly, your camera should be ready to capture the blue hour. Then start shooting slowly as the light changes and you will have that photograph you visualized in your mind.


Start early and know your camera

It is a good idea to have the location fixed in your mind before you set out on your expedition. Reach the place at least an hour before sunrise to photograph the different shades of the blue hour. Also, ensure you have complete knowledge about all those buttons in your camera. It will make your life easy and create more opportunities to create impactful images at that time of the day. 


Look for light sources

When you are shooting at dawn, you can find various elements including water, reflections, architectural sites and glass buildings that can create an interesting image. These light sources can create numerous opportunities for light to bounce, reflect, bend and distort. Photographing reflections at sunrise when there are no people around can create beautiful images of the stillness and emptiness of the city.


Favorite location

If you have a favorite spot, go back to the same place repeatedly. Every time you go to that particular spot, you will come back with a completely different photograph. Make it a point to visit the same spot during different seasons on different days. You will know how the emptiness and the light of the hour can give that place a facelift through your lenses.


Go out and explore

There are landmarks that are often photographed by many and there are places that are seldom visited. Photographing the popular sites at dawn can give you a completely different look of popular and iconic sites when it is deserted during the blue hour. Explore the known and unknown locations that will give you some amazing view of the place. Whether it is abandoned buildings or ancient fortresses, it is worth exploring and capturing the unworldly charm of the city just when the sun is on the horizon.


People can make willing subjects

Capture the early risers and late night enthusiasts who personify life in that city. It can be pictures of people who get early to work and people who have been partying all night.


The art of seeing

When you set on your photography trip so early in the morning to a certain place, you will be able to notice a lot of fine things that you may otherwise miss on a regular day. The deserted streets, the still water and the calm neighborhood will remove the usual distractions from your mind, and will allow you to see the same place differently in a new light altogether. The peaceful atmosphere and the divine light will evoke your senses and open up the artistic eye in you, which will reflect in your photographs.

Essential kit list for dawn shooting

Other than your camera bag, you may also want to carry the things listed below as they might come in handy.

  • A small torch or a flashlight while setting up your camera in the dark
  • A lightweight and sturdy tripod will be helpful and easy to carry while wandering and exploring
  • A plastic bag for the camera, in case it rains
  • A visor or a hat since walking into the sunlight can be harsh on the eyes
  • A pair of gloves, in case it’s too cold 

Now you must have realized that it is not always about capturing the sunrise. There are several other elements that can make great photographs at dawn. It could be the rain drenched buildings, a deserted iconic site, artistic cloud patterns along the skyline, the long shadows of the low sun or even just plain emptiness. You have more than enough reasons to wake up at that unusual hour and set out on a photo date with the blue hour. 

Snap away to glory!

~ Zahid H Javali / Pics: Pixabay