1. Investigate the scene the day before
It’s not always easy to know where the best place to shoot at sunrise will be if you’re only in the location for a short period. It’s worth having a look around the day before if you have the time.
Deal pier, Kent, UK
2. Ask locals for some advice on the best place to head
In all but the most remote of areas there will be knowledgeable locals – shopkeepers, waiting staff in cafés etc – who might be able to point you to places a little more off the beaten track.
Kolukkumalai tea plantation, Kerala/Tamil Nadu border, India
3. Use a compass to check the sunrise position
Even if you’re staying on the east coast and you’re sure the sun will rise from behind the sea, it’s always worth checking a compass first (your smartphone probably has you covered) as a little kink in the coastline could see your view dramatically altered.
Smartphone app The Photographer’s Ephemeris tells you all sorts of localised facts about your chosen location and can help you work out what the sun will shine on as it peeps over the horizon.
Jokulsárlón beach, Iceland
4. Pack your bag the night before
If you’ve only got five minutes between waking and heading out in the morning, you don’t want to waste valuable time fretting about whether you’ve got your cable release or filters with you. It’s wise to make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need before you go to sleep.
And don’t forget to pack some emergency snacks to keep you going until breakfast.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India
5. Head to further northerly or southerly latitudes for longer in bed
There’s no excuse to miss the best of the morning light when the sun doesn’t rise till 9 or 10am, or maybe even later depending on how far north you go in winter months (and this goes for places at a similar latitude in the southern hemisphere in summer).
There’s plenty of time for your eight hours sleep as well filling up on the B&B breakfast before heading out.
Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden