For this Recipe of a Photo, I’ll be unpacking my process for taking a sunrise landscape photo in Winter.

I started with this photo, and here’s the unedited version:

Taking this photo was unplanned. After driving out to the country to visit some family, I stepped out of my vehicle and was greeted by this beautiful rural scene at sunrise. The nice thing about sunrises in Winter is that you don’t have to get up ridiculously early to catch them! This was take at 9:13am in January. (Six months later, the sun would look like this at 6am!)

The ideal time to get the sun’s beautiful colours is in the one hour after sunrise and the one hour before sunset. And if you’ve ever wondered if the sunrise looks different than the sunset: there is zero difference, other than it being on opposite sides of the sky.

When taking photos of the sun, I try not to adjust my exposure in camera. I generally like what the auto-exposure does in the iPhone, so basically just point and shoot to get this photo. Of course, you want to be mindful of keeping the horizon level and throwing in a bit of rule of thirds in the composition too.

The next step, editing it in Lightroom Mobile:

This is the photo after I’ve edited it in Lightroom Mobile. I increase the contrast, the saturation a bit, and I tweak the exposure ever so slightly to bring in my details in the shadow areas. Since there are lots of branches and crispy parts to this image, I increase texture and clarity a bit to enhance those parts.

And voilĂ ! You have yourself a recipe for a Sunrise landscape photo in the Winter.