Taking photos against the sun ?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Rommeo, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Rommeo

    Rommeo TPF Noob!

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    Hi

    i m reading a book about photography and it says "avoid taking photos against the sun". And a magazine i have read before, there is writing a professionals can handle about the photos against sun with right lenses + settings + reflectors.

    So i would like to know your ideas about these ?
    Do you avoid taking photos against sun ?
    Or it does not matter for you ? ( if it does not matter, how do you deal with it ? )

    ( The photos i m talking about is like :
    sun
    --
    Subject ( a model or a monument or a landscape )
    --
    photographer )
     
  2. bjorkfiend

    bjorkfiend TPF Noob!

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    ...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I love shooting into the sun, it's a style that many wedding photographers are using these days. Of course, to keep the sun and sky from completely blowing out, you need to use a small aperture a fast shutter speed. Then, if you want to light up your subjects, you need a lot of light because of the small aperture. My Canon 430EX has barely enough power to pull this off...and only from close range.

    Here is one shot I took into the sun (you can tell by the shadows) but without the sun in the frame.
    [​IMG]

    Here is another one, with the sun behind them and through a few tree branches. As you can see, there is some lens flare, which will tend to happen when shooting into the sun. Sometimes you can see it in the viewfinder and move the camera to position it...sometimes not. In this case, I would have liked it to be a little higher.
    [​IMG]

    Of course, don't look directly into the sun, especially though a lens.
     
  4. ksmattfish

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

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    Shooting into bright light sources is likely to confuse the camera's light meter, but then again it's an idiot machine, so we should expect that. ;) I like back lighting; it can be very dramatic, and since many folks do avoid it it can give a look that somewhat different than typical. I say don't be afraid to shoot into the light, but it might take a bit of practice to figure it out.

    There are some safety concerns. Be cautious to protect your eyes as in any situation when looking at the sun. Also a lens that's continuously pointed at the sun (for a long time) is in danger of melting the insides just like burning wood using a magnifying glass. I've heard stories of old cameras left sitting on beach blankets with no lens cap, and the sun burns a hole through their cloth shutter curtain.
     
  5. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    When shooting subjects against the sun, learn to move your feet..

    In other words, move around so you can get the sun behind an object, or even squarely behind the subject...get high, get low...
    ...use the sun to your advantage..

    The meter will almost always give you just a guess, so use spot metering on the subject if that is what you want properly exposed, (or meter the foreground and lock it) and it is a good idea to bracket all your shots..

    Some dramatic effects can be had with some practice......:thumbup:

    Extreme examples of shooting into the Sun are the Landscape shots, and sunset/sunrise scenes... Sometimes you want good exposure to the foreground..

    Here is a directly into the Sun example with only some clouds to block it..

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009

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