One of the very first things you may have been taught way back is NOT to shoot into the sun. Forget that right now…Shooting into the sun can create great results if done correctly and creatively. Also, it’s a myth that it is bad for your gear, although your eyes can definitely take some strain (so be cautious and don’t burn your eyeballs).
Here are some tips to help you get some nice results:
Before we dive in, don’t get frustrated and know that shooting into the sun is very much a case of trial, error and experimentation. Perfect results are not going to be achievable all the time but the more you practice the easier it will get.
You might miss a moment if you’re unprepared. Shoot in manual so you have full control over settings and exposures. Focusing can also be a bit more tricky so this is something you need to work on and practice.
Keep your lenses clean, although sometimes a little bit of dirt can add a great flair effect but know when to draw the line on what is ‘too’ dirty.
Partly obscure the sun. So in other words let sun be partly visible behind the horizon or subject you’re shooting using the horizon, trees, plants or buildings to partially block the light.
Experiment with the lenses, each lens is unique and can provide a unique feeling and effect.
Those traditional ‘golden hours’ - first and last light are key. Then timing, planning and patience are crucial. There are great apps available to help set up the perfect shot.
Knowing your location (and the shot you want to achieve at it) makes a big difference. Consider the location and plan carefully where the sun will be in the frame.
Use filters - circular and graduated filters will add more control to you what you need to shoot.
Find a good balance for the shot you’re setting up - too much flare/light can burn out your images and too little will have no effect.
Create an environment - adding dust, smoke and shooting through this will add depth and feeling to the shot.
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