Shooting into the Sun



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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  1. tara June 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Awesome advise:) I love your work:)

  2. Denise Ippolito June 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Beautifully done Don!

  3. BillG June 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    Gorgeous shot Don.

    In regard to lens flare and shooting into the sun I have learned to minimize (and some times eliminate) flare by adjusting the lens slightly from one side to the other (also on the z axis) to effectively hide the flare within the lens elements. It works particularly well with wide angle lenses.

    I love this photograph and thanks for this post.


  4. Donald Rosenberger June 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Thanks Denise!

  5. Donald Rosenberger June 28, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Thanks Tara!

  6. Donald Rosenberger June 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    Thanks Bill.. We have got to go shooting sometime!