Shooting into the sun using available light with Craig Kolesky 

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.



1. Know your camera system and be prepared so you can shoot quickly.


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. 

2. Keep your lenses clean!

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.

3. Use the sun flare to add depth and feeling to the image.

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.

4. Experiment with the lenses! 

Experiment with the lenses, each lens is unique and can provide a unique feeling and effect.

5. Time of day is an important factor in getting getting light effects.

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.


6. Knowing your location makes a big difference.

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.

7. Use filters.

Use filters - circular and graduated filters will add more control to you what you need to shoot.

8. Find a good balance for the shot you’re setting up.

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.

9. Create an environment

Create an environment - adding dust, smoke and shooting through this will add depth and feeling to the shot.

10. Underexpose you shots as well to get silhouettes, always have options available.






"We Are f-stop" is for all f-stop users to share their stories from the field, from small daily adventures to epic travels. Contact us with your story on Facebook or drop us an email to [email protected] and let us know where your photography takes you and your f-stop pack! 


©2022 F-stop