Pictures with sun in the background

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Gandalf, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. Gandalf

    Gandalf TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone,

    I've always been a fan of photos that have the sun in the background but I can't figure out how to do it.

    Any techniques that I should know about?

    Even with using f/22 and underexposing the film my minoltas light meter is way off teh charts and refuses to take the pic! :lol:
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You're not going to be able to meter the sun. Is your subject in the ambient light, like a landscape, or is it in shadow, like the face of someone with their back to the sun?
     
  3. Gandalf

    Gandalf TPF Noob!

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    Usually in the ambient light (but if you could explain the other too, that would be awesome).
     
  4. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The technique you are trying to use is called 'contre jour'.
    The best way is to make sure an object is between you and the sun and meter for the sky. This puts the object in silhouette. If you want detail in the object use fill-in flash.
     
  5. Axel

    Axel TPF Noob!

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    Great suggestion Hertz! I wasn't the one wondering but will definitely keep this in mind!
     
  6. cactus waltz

    cactus waltz TPF Noob!

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    Won't this make the picture seem a bit surreal? A person standing in front of the sun should appear dark, that's what we're used to.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sure, but that's a look that is quite popular. Check out any magazine, just about any photo of people outside uses fill flash. Especially if it's something like a swim suit model on the beach at sun set. Maybe not with the sun directly in the background (which would add to the surrealness) but do you get my point?

    I think the trick is lighting the subject so that they look like they are lit by natural light rather than blinding flash.
     
  8. cactus waltz

    cactus waltz TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I do. I actually haven't thought about that, possibly because it's so common. It's the "advertising look".

    Actually, I have a love for underexposed portraits. Especially in summer or winter settings. Remember the diary scene in Virgin Suicides? Gorgeous.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Typically to avoid that "surreal" look you would set the aperture or flash power to underexpose the flash a stop or two.
     
  10. ahelg

    ahelg TPF Noob!

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    I have got some axceptable results using an ISO 200 film and using spot metering on the building or subject of the photo. But I have never achieved anything great. But I have got quite alot of good photos by taking the picture towards the end of the day. The trick is to get a very small cloud to aproach the sun. Once it starts to cover it up, take the photo. The sun will be covered up slightly but the results can be great. Getting a tree infront of the sun can also get the trick. But you will have to do this towards the end of the day. This also works in the morning.
     

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