I usually get better light at sunrise (compared to sunset). I do though hate to wake up early in the morning to use that light ;)
What are the biggest differences between sunrise and sunset?
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Sunrise light is cooler (color temperature-wise) because there are less particles in the air, which is what gives sunsets their multicoloured nature.
Sunrise can be a better time to shoot for few reasons too:
There are considerably less people about if you are shooting scenery, landscape and/or nature shots.
There is often moisture about which can potentially be used to create some unique images .. check out http://www.thetrueshot.com/Photographs/Pages/Drops_Of_Life.html#0 which was shot early in the morning to catch a dew drop before it dried in the sun.
The images from sunrise are often not seen by most people due to the time of day. Yes, it can be a pain to get up very early, especially in the summer months, but sometimes getting up at 4am can provide great results that no one else has ... http://www.thetrueshot.com/Photographs/Pages/Sunrise.html#10
These factors will certainly help to make them more unique and hence more marketable if you happen to be selling them.
Personally I shoot at both sunrise and sunset time of the day, as each has its own unique qualities. I find sunset very colourful and the ability to include people in the image can add interest too.
The sun is in a different place!
I know, that sounds obvious, but, as someone living in a coastal city, I though it ought to be mentioned. In the east, if you want the sun over the ocean, that's a sunrise. If you want a sunset over the water, you need to find a west coast. (Any continent will do.)
Of course, this extends to non-oceanic photos as well. The light in many landscapes is rooted in geography. The morning sun and evening sun show the same mountains very differently -- not in the same human-schedule way a city street may be transformed (working class people early in the morning, yuppie parents with kids during the day, and then the nightlife) -- but still, uniquely.
Sunrise is near the coolest part of the day. As a result, it typically has less wind, and thus less dust. Also, it tends to have somewhat less moisture in the ground than would otherwise be there.
All of this causes a few unique affects
All of these add to a unique look for sunrise.
I'm going to spare you the details about the location of where the sun is when the sunrise/set occurs.
Sunrise shots can require more scouting ahead of time, because you are getting someplace in dark or twilight and it can be difficult to visualize how light will strike the area when it comes up.
Sunset gives you the luxury of having more time to analyze the scene in front of you on the spot, and is I think easier to visualize how the sun will shift as it goes down.
Also, after a lot of shooting both sunrise and sunset it seems like the light stays more "interesting" for longer around sunrise (both before and after) than sunset. I'm not sure why this is, but after a lot of different shoots it sure seems like I have a lot more time to spend on a sunrise than sunsets in general.
The light that first comes up at sunrise is often quite sharp compared to a sunset though, and can really cut through haze.
Due to temperatures at sunrise, low fog is more common, allowing you to take pictures like this one.
Sunrise and Sunset are also very different when it comes to shadows and back light.
Never forget that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Therefore the shadows and light will be a completely different although in both cases the sun is low over the horizon.
So if you want to have the sun in your picture and you are on an east coast beach you have to get up early if you like it or not :-)
Most humans need much more convincing for participating in a shoot during sunrise than during sunset. Applies to models, stylists, assistants etc. On the other hand, wildlife is usually more active during sunrise.
If you need to have a natural-light shot made in a certain day, shooting during sunrise leaves you a second chance in case something goes wrong. In case of a sunset, being late means too late.
Chances of catching rays shining through mist are higher in mornings.
Light from the sun enters the earth’s atmosphere and encounters a plethora of obstacles. The atmosphere is jam-packed with water vapor and dust plus a variety of additional materials. The solar light rays skip over some, depending on their size. Many are hit by light photons. Collisions scatters and filters the light. The blue sky you love and adore is due to the fact that blue and violet light rays, because they have a shorter wavelength, are more likely to collide and be scattered. The now-dispersed blue and violet are responsible for our blue skies.
When we take pictures during the hours of say 9 AM and 4 PM, our subjects will likely be illuminated from two directions -- direct sun light and blue scatter light. This mix adds a blue cast to our subjects.
Now our atmosphere extends upwards for miles (kilometers). When the sun is low (near the horizon), which happens at sunrise and sunset, the travel distance in the atmosphere is an extra 20 miles (45 kilometers). This added light path distance places more obstacles in the light’s path. This extra distance filters out some of the blue and green, permitting a higher percentage of red light to bathe the earth. Now our photographs replicate the rosy hues of sunset and sunrise.
At sunset, due to the activity of life, more dust and pollutants are present in the atmosphere. Because of this fact, the sunset is more likely intense ruddy or crimson.