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Sunrise and Sunset


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#1 Markus Harthum

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 06:17 AM

Hi everyone,

I´m doing some 1fps sunrise shootings for a musicvideo for nearly two months now. And not for one morning the light looked as i imagined it would look. I thought it would be an orange to peach color, slightly diffused and coming from a low angle.
But what i now know ist that it is extremely blue as the morning is never withouth clouds (at least not here in Prague). And even if you can see some little orange-peach light at th e horizon it doesnt effect the light hitting the earth. And it is completely diffused.

While the sunsets usually are redish, feature an overcast but partly open sky and make everything look warm. And it is directional.

So basically its exactly the opposite. Before i started to get up early in the morning and really learn about the lighting conditions i always thought sunrise and sunset would be nearly the same in effect just reversed.

Actually i still think it is the same but the weather conditions differ so greatly that it looks so different.

Does anyone here has made some furthergoing observations? Maybe from another part of the world, where the weather in the morning is different? Or has some knowledge about lighting for sunset/sunrise settings?Because thats the two setups i always had the greatest difficulties. Maybe because i made my sunrises too red.

BTW. My first post, and ist a great forum.

Markus Harthum
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#2 Dominic Case

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 09:53 PM

At any time of the day you have two light sources: direct sun light, and scattrered sky light.

The more atmosphere the sunlight passes through, the warmer it gets (as blue light is usually scattered most) and therefore the bluer the skylight gets.

At sunset, shadows are extremely blue. Direct sun is extremely warm.

At sunrise it would be the same: but as you point out, if there are more clouds in the sky, you possibly won't see the direct sunlight. And it's possible there will be more clouds, as the atmosphere has been cooling down during the night. So the light in those conditions would be softer and bluer.

At sunset, it's the end of the day. In hot conditions, the ground has been heating up all day, and the warm air near the ground (which is often dusty) rises. This makes the sunset even warmer (and the sky even bluer!).

To understand this, forget about the sunset just being "warm". Look for blues and greens in the sunset. Look in the sky and in shadows on the ground.
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#3 K Borowski

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 04:47 PM

Although sunrise and sunset are subtly different, you can get away with interchanging the two, provided you reverse the footage of course. IIRC, for the film "Planet of the Apes", they used the California shoreline and the sun at either sunrise or sunset to simulate the opposite on the East coast for that famous scene where Taylor and Nova ride along the shoreline and he runs into the ruin of the Statue of Liberty.

Regards,

~Karl Borowski
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