Dawn at Stonehenge – tips from an amateur photographer

Stonehenge, 5:30 am, beginning of the journey on a sping morning. As we have approached the Stonehenge from a hilltop, I could spot the dark silhouttes of the stones from far away at the middle of the vast ground covered with frost. We wanted to catch the first sunlight over the stones. The golden hour is said to be 30 minutes before sunrise. Light is the most important of all photography elements. Many professional photographers believe early dawn or twilight dusk offer the best light for taking landscape pictures. I am not a professional photographer but one starts experimenting somehow and hoping this will give some magical, mystical feeling to my photography at the end.

We were lucky , of course, hard to think lucky when your fingers and toes are literally frozen after an hour or so trying to find the right angle, right speed on your camera. Lucky in a sense that it’s a clear morning and we can see the moon over the stones, the frost on the grass and the mist over the ground which gives the magical look around us. As the clock approaches 6:30 we are overjoyed as kids by the first rays of warm sun peeking right before our eyes. Warm, of course I meant only in color not in any form of heat and it is still quite cold.

I had a Nikon D 70 camera with a great lense Nikon 18 – 200 mm the best ever all in one lense. Yes, the camera and the lense is important but more so the following tips.

Crucial Tips :

  • With this lense you don’t need a tripod but if you don’t have this lense you will definelty need one. Check here why VR is important !
  • Raise ISO to 400 if possible and shoot RAW: RAW is much more flexible in editing afterwards
  • You want the greatest depth of field possible, you should set your lens to a small aperture.
  • and you need warm clothing and gloves … cause it’s pretty cold out there at 5:30 am and believe me the first rays of sun doesn’t warm you up a bit.

This has been truly a magical experience. I highly recommend it to everyone but wrap up warm.