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Hilton Head Island Sunrise

The event or time of the daily first appearance of the sun above the eastern horizon.  This is the official definition of sunrise.  I’ve attempted to capture that event or time in several sunrise images of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The beauty and mystery of the Hilton Head sunrise event captures the imagination of many people that visit.  As a long-time resident, I see many visitors come down to the beach, making the effort to roll out of bed early in the morning, just to witness that first light appearing above the horizon.

A couple of tips on photographing the sunrise.

Put the ball below the horizon.  For the best sunrise images, you’ll just need to wake-up a bit earlier to see the best show before the sun rises. Consider the brightness of the sun. Even when it is just above the horizon, that big red ball is so intense that it can wash-out the colors in the sky. When the sun is below the horizon, haze, dust and particles in the atmosphere combine with the increased angle of the sun to create more saturated red, orange, gold and violet.

One thing to watch for when photographing a sunrise as compared to a sunset is tighter timing. Although the above suggests that the best show occurs when the sun is below the horizon, you can still capture some exceptional sunrise images, as the sun ascends toward the horizon. The color and glory of a sunrise is short-lived. You need to do almost all of your work before the sun rises. You may have – literally – about 30-45 seconds once the sun emerges. After that the colors in the sky will wash out.


Hilton Head Island Photography


Hilton Head








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