View Full Version : HELP with shooting into the sun!
28th of December 2009 (Mon), 11:47
I am trying to get those magical, color saturated, gorgeous images when people shoot into the sun, and this is the best I could do. There is no editing, as I thought it was a waste of time. Any tricks or suggestions?
28th of December 2009 (Mon), 12:06
You're going to need some light on the subjects. Easy solution - Stick a speedlight on your hotshoe and use HSS (should work ok at that distance) Direct flash doesn't look all that great though.
Best solution - Use off-camera lighting (such as Alien Bee strobes) with umbrella/softbox to light the subject.
28th of December 2009 (Mon), 12:15
Welcome to the forum :-)
In order to get everything exposed properly you need to do something to reduce the contrast between the direct sunlight and the subject. It depends on your subject matter, but there are several ways of going about it.
For your example above I think it's a prime candidate for fill flash, where you would expose for the sky, then add the appropriate amount of light from your flashgun to light your subjects.
For things like landscapes you can use gradient ND filters, which are darker at the top and therefore pass less light from the brighter sky, to balance it with the land. You can also take multiple exposures and combine them manually in Photoshop using layer masks, or even automatically with tone-mapping software. The best method really does depend on the exact circumstances for your desired photograph at the time.
If you are after the starburst effect with the light source then a smaller aperture will help with that (for example f/16 - f/22), along with careful positioning of the light source to create a point of light. It's all a big balancing act though because if you also need to use fill flash then the small aperture will make it difficult for your camera to gather enough light from the flash.
28th of December 2009 (Mon), 12:32
Expose for the sky/sun, and add flash (either on or off camera) to light your subjects.
28th of December 2009 (Mon), 12:53
28th of December 2009 (Mon), 12:55
You should wait until later in the day so the sun is lower. Also try locating something in the background to filter the sun rather than just using the subject.
28th of December 2009 (Mon), 14:08
A Sunpak 383 served as main illumination in this image; the flash and the camera aperture were set to properly light the subject. The shutter speed was set to handle the ambient light and give just enough of a "halo" effect to be useful.
Camera Make: FUJIFILM
Camera Model: FinePix S7000
Flash Used: Yes (Manual)
Exposure Time: 0.0003 s (1/4000)
ISO equiv: 200
White Balance: Auto
Exposure Mode: Manual
You'll notice that the image came not from a DSLR, but from a Fuji point-and-shoot that uses a hot shoe and can handle accessory flashes such as the Sunpak 383 (a wonderfully versatile flash that, unfortunately, is out of production). The Fuji S7000 had the advantage of not having a maximum flash sync speed and working with flash at high speeds such as the one used in this image. Canon DSLR's typically have maximum flash sync speeds of 1/200-1/250, unless you use the high speed sync setting.
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