Photography Tips, Tricks and Lessons | How to shoot into the sun

Sunset radials through the Prince of Wales train bridge in Ottawa, Ontario

Sunset radials through the Prince of Wales train bridge in Ottawa, Ontario

With spring now clearly upon us it’s time to pick-up our camera gear and get our photography back on track with some unencumbered fun in sun. Next to providing face-to-face photography lessons, over the coming weeks I will begin using my blog to provide you and yours with some pro photography tips and insights. I will try to cover as much ground as time will allow, and among other topics show you with pictures how to leverage our planet’s greatest light bulb and life force – the sun. Working with the sun is both a very important skill in photography and something incredibly fun as it’s quite dynamic.

To capture this shots I lowered my ISO to 100 and raised my aperture to f/22 with a shutter speed clocking in at 1/30th of second or slower. Sounds a little counter intuitive to lower your shutter speed while photographing into the sun, but when working with these particular settings you can begin to experiment with the sun in such a way that you capture its radials (thanks to your lens blades), yet in a way that’s not overblown. If you do some google searches on the Internet about working in bright conditions you’ll likely come across the “sunny 16 rule”…which more or less says when photographing in very bright conditions raise your aperture to limit the amount of light entering into your lens. As with everything in photography, there’s no free lunch, so be mindful that doing so impacts other photographic relationships.

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