Thursday, January 14, 2016

Photographing Beautiful Sunrises

Photograph Beautiful Sunrises

sunrise in jupiter, florida photo by mbgphoto
Sunrise in Jupiter Florida
Source: Mary Beth Granger
During March of 2009, we were fortunate to be able to stay in a condo with the balcony overlooking the ocean in Jupiter, Florida. I was delighted to be able to photograph the sunrise each morning. The first morning when I awoke I was amazed at the beauty of the sunrise, I thought "it can't get any better than this!", but then each morning I discovered a new glory awaited me.

I was amazed at how the variation in the clouds and weather made each sunrise a little different from the one the day before. It reminded me of a phrase my father-in-law always said This is the Day the Lord hath Made!

On this page I will review the photos taken from that balcony. I will also show some sunrise photos that I have taken on other trips and add a few tips that I used to photograph these scenes. I hope you enjoy these spectacular views!

The photo in this introduction was taken from the same balcony on a return visit in March 2014. I enjoy using the skills I have learned each year to take more sunrise photos from this balcony. I can set up my tripod, jump out of bed just before sunrise, and shoot these dramatic views!

photos by Mary Beth Granger

Before the Dawn - Colors before the Sun Rises

Before Dawn photo by mbgphoto

For about an hour before sunrise each day I was able to photograph some beautiful colors in the sky. The trick here is rising early and having your tripod and camera set up and ready to take the photos. I then take a series of photos starting before the sunrises and then every 5 minutes or so until the sun becomes too bright. On these first photos I was still at the point in learning photography where I relied on the auto settings on my camera. These photos were taken using the nighttime setting on my Sony DSLR.

This series of photos is taken from the same spot each day over a ten day period.

Pink Sky before Sun Rise - predawn light

predawn light by mggphoto

We returned to the same place in Jupiter in 2010. Here is a photo from the same vantage point.

If you wait till sunrise to start photographing you will miss beautiful scenes such as this one. This photo was taken about 30 minutes before sun rise. The brilliant pink colors were there for only about 10 minutes. Amazing beauty!!

Let There be Light - inspirational photo

Let There Be Light photo by mbgphoto

If there are clouds low in the sky you can continue shooting well after the sun rises.

On this day the sun rose and then went into a cloud bank. The rays of sun coming out of the clouds reminded me of photos you often see of the creation. And God said "Let There be Light"

Sunrise in Paradise - Ocean Sunrise

ocean sunrise photo by mbgphoto

Sun through the Clouds

sun through the clouds photo by mbgphoto

On this morning there was a heavy cloud bank right on the horizon. I had to wait a bit before I could catch the was worth the wait!

Sunrise with Scattered Clouds - Yellow colors in the sunrise

sunrise with scattered clouds by mpgphoto

On this morning there were scattered clouds that the sun went in and out of as it rose. You can see a bird taking an early morning flight.

First Light on Cloudy Day

first light on a cloudy day photo by mbgphoto

On a very cloudy day the sunrise gives another different look. You can see the pinks in the sky as the sun emerges on the horizon and then slips into a bank of clouds.

Sunrise-Heavy Clouds

sunrise-heavy clouds photo by mbgphoto

On this morning the clouds were so heavy that you never really saw the sun, just glimpses of light through the clouds.

Fall Sunrise in Destin, Florida

The next group of photos were taken in the fall of 2007 at Destin, Florida. We were staying by the ocean and I was able to capture the sun rising on the ocean from our balcony. This was the first time I had witnessed the sun rising over the ocean. The reflection of the rising sun on the ocean appears as if it is melting out of the water. It is an incredible site. I was later able to witness the same site at sunset and it was equally amazing.


Fall Florida Sunrise - Sunrise over the ocean

fall florida sunrise photo by mpgphoto

Sunrise in Mazatlan

Sunrise in Mazatlan

This photo was taken from a cruise ship as we were arriving in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Sunrise in Port Washington, Wisconsin

Sunrise in Port Washington, Wisconsin

This photo was taken while we were visiting Port Washington, Wisconsin. I love the way the sky takes on a dark orange cast.

Here are some of my photographs of sunrises and sunsets on Zazzle products.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. You always share the most beautiful photos with us Mary Beth! I love the sunrises and sunsets. It is amazing how you can sit in the same place and those lovely sunsets and sunrises are just displayed for you by the Master Artist. Gorgeous!

  2. So beautiful! Wish I would have had my camera ready this morning as the big orange ball of sun appeared over the horizon. Your photos are so beautiful and inspiring, Mary Beth. Thank you!

  3. You have captured some beautiful sunrises, Mary Beth! No matter the place, sunrises are always lovely and interesting to observe. My favorite here is the 'Sunrise in Paradise - Ocean Sunrise'. Love seeing the path the sun's rays make across the ocean.

  4. Oh what beauty Mary Beth! you take the most beautiful pictures, you have a real talent for photography. Thanks for sharing your vacations.

  5. Those are amazing sunrise photos. I don't rise early enough to greet the sun, but I do get sunset photos, and I see similar beauty when the sun sets.


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