I don’t advise taking pictures of the sun directly because it is my understanding that you can easily damage your eyes. But using the sun as a compositional element can add a little something extra to your photographs. The picture above is a 7 shot HDR to capture the dynamic range of the scene. I shot this in The Palouse a couple of weeks ago with my partner Denise. To achieve the starburst I stepped my lens down to f22 and positioned the camera so only a small amount of the setting sun could be seen. The next issue was what to do with the lens flare that usually results. I know many of us use UV filters to protect our front elements, but in this case I recommend removing any filters to possibly reduce flare. After processing the photo I had 3 small areas of flare to correct. I selected each area and used the Content Aware feature in Photoshop CS6. Some people prefer to leave the flare in their photographs. In my case I prefer to minimize this artifact.
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