Jeff Mohlman: Stunning Photos

5 Ways to Create Stunning Photos of Sunrise and People by Jeff Mohlman

Hi, readers! It’s Jeff Mohlman once again. As you may all know by now, there are five things I’m most passionate about: the arts, movies, books, writing, and photography. I don’t claim to be an expert on all or any one of these. I simply enjoy them, which is the most important thing of all. Lately, I’ve been practicing my photography skills, particularly outdoor photography with the sunrise or sunset as my main source of light.

Here I’d like to share with you five ways to create stunning photos of people with the sunrise as my only source of light. I hope you find these tips helpful.


Jeff Mohlman: Create a dramatic image of your subject by having him or her in the foreground and the sunrise in the background, with either her right side or left side against the sun without blocking it. When the subject is looking sideways instead of you, you capture a silhouette of their profile. Imagine the subject’s profile in silhouette with the sun just a few inches away from their face in the picture; see the picture?

You can also take pictures of the subject’s silhouette as it is reflected on a body of water; at the beach or by the lake, perhaps.

Don’t place the sun in the center of the picture

Unless you’re only concerned about the sunrise, which means that all you want to capture is the sunrise and nothing else, don’t place the sun in the center of your pictures. It’s a little old and boring. With people as your subject, and with the aim of including the sun in your pictures, position your subject in a way that puts the sun on either one of their sides. You want the sun to be visible, but you don’t want it to hog the limelight. By taking the focus away from the sun, you’re influencing people looking at your pictures to notice the sun.

Starburst or sun star

Have you noticed how some pictures appear to have a glow in the middle of subjects? Think of it as your flash reflecting on the picture, but this time, the glow is intentional and it’s from the sun. To achieve this, set the camera’s aperture to f/22.

HDR contrast

Jeff Mohlman: When taking a picture of the sunrise or even sunset, use HDR photography to create a contrast. The light from the sun provides a dramatic contrast to the blue of the sky or the colors of the scene.

Don’t use filters

Last but not the least, remove filters of your lens. Filters may distort the image or they could make the sun look like a ghost’s shadow (forgive the poor imagery comparison) because the sun’s light bounces off from your camera’s lens and onto the filter.

For more photography tips, kindly stay tuned to this page.