Shooting Into The Sun

Taking a photo into the sun may not be the easiest thing in the world to do, but the results you get will be more than satisfying…most of the time.

First, it is a great way to get silhouettes. But secondly, it will give a dramatic contrast to your photos.  If you have a camera with an automatic exposure, it may over expose your photos. A way to help compensate for that is to have the sun directly out of the scene. Or hide the sun behind something, like a tree or a cloud.

In The Sunlight on Leaves,  the sun is just up to the left of the photo and there was just a bit of glare. But the whiteness of the leaves against the dark background of the trees provides a 3-D  feel to the leaves. You can almost reach out and touch them.

The Escambia Bay Sunset you may have seen before. Here the sun was hidden behind the clouds and you can see some sun rays penetrating the cloud cover.

In the Cypress Sentinel scene the sun was hidden behind the tree   while the camera was pointed directly at the sun. By the way, that tree was only a a hundred yards away from the bay sunset scene. That was a “two-for one” afternoon.

While the Boat at Dusk photo captured just a bit of the sun, the sun was low enough in the sky as to not provide too much of a glare. The sun’s reflection on the water provides feeling of depth. The scene appears just a bit darker than it actually was.

The Sunrise on The Florida Keys shows a dramatic way to hid the sun. The camera was aimed directly at the sun, but the trees covered the sun from the lens and did now show any glare.

There are many other ways of shooting into the sun, but these are just a few.

Sunlight on Leaves wm

escambia bay 72 dpi wm copy

Cypress Sentinel water

Boat at dusk wm

Sunrise on the Florida Keys wm

The Peacemaker

In earlier blogs I discussed “taking a walk” or taking several views of the subject you want to photograph. I will expand on those blogs with this one showing the subject from several views including the final one.

A sailboat, The Peacemaker, was in Pensacola Harbor for several days. Late in the afternoon, to get the sun on the right side, I went down to the pier and took the following photographs. My goal was to show as much of the ship as possible without showing too much of the pier. It was very cold and windy, yes even in Pensacola in January it can gets cold and windy. This limited the time I wanted to spend outdoors.

The lighting was right and there were a few clouds in the sky, so I was lucky from that standpoint. I have four different views that I took …along with the final cropped one in black & white and one in color. Pick your favorite one.  Photographs taken January, 2011.

sail boat 1 72

sail boat 2   copysail boat 3 72sail boat 4 72sail boat 5 72sail boat 6 color 72

Take Interesting Photographs

Take photographs that are interesting to you. That’s the fun of photography. Shoot it when you see it. People often ask me “What do you specialize in?” and I reply, ” Anything that is of interest to me at the time I see it.”

Everyone has special interests, but you must like the photograph first…for whatever reason.  And if you see something you like, do not pass it up….like I have on special occasions and most recently the other afternoon.  I plan on going back at the same time ago and see if the same scene of the sail boats at harbor is still there…but I don’t know.

There is really to reason to explain to any one why you took such and such a photograph. If you like it take it.  And if you take it and still like it…have a an enlargement made of it, have it matted and framed and display in your home, your apartment, or your college dorm. Display the talents you own.

Look for angles and composition that interest you. We have talked before about taking a walk….do it and see the different angles of your subject. Most of today’s cameras have good zoom lens and you can take several shots of the subject from several different angles. Be creative…then tell yourself… ”Hey..that IS a very good picture.”

For example, I have included three photographs with this blog…one  a sign on Beal Street in Memphis that I thought was  neat; a color shot of some flowers at a farmers‘s market outside of Memphis, yes I did say color, and some workers at Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter in New Orleans taking a break.

None of these were planned, I saw them and took them. You can do the same.

Some of these may end up in my Mississippi River Gallery…someday.


Coffe Break time at Cafe Du Monde  NO  1 jpg

Farmers Market 1  copy

Pensacola Air Show

The Photo(s) of The Week concentrate on the recent Pensacola Blue Angels Air Show. While their stuff is neat I concentrated on other things as you can see.

The first photo is of three old Russian planes flying above the crowd. The second is a photograph of part of the crowd in the bleachers ahead of where I was sitting in the free area. The third is of the Blue Angels. They are fast moving fantastic aerobatic team…probably the best in the word.  Their fast moving flying is difficult to follow with a camera. It was a fun event to attend.

air show 2  copy

air show 1 copy

Blue Angels 1 copy

Use Shadows for Depth

Shadows will help create depth in your photograph. This is one reason why many people will tell you that  early to mid morning and mid afternoon to late afternoon will provide better lighting is the fact these times of the day will provide “longer shadows.”  In other works these shadows will give you more of a three dimensional feel to the photograph.

This is true in most cases. The shadows will provide more of a “side lighting” as well.  By moving around your subject, you can find the best angles for this lighting.
In the photograph “Autumn Weed,” the lighting and shadows provide a depth to the round end of the pipes..much better than if all the lighting was coming directly to the front of the pipes. The weed itself is almost three dimensional. The photograph was taken in 1970.

The scene, “My Old Kentucky Home,” shows how the shadows of the porch and even the siding of the house provide a feeling of depth. The trees in the foreground also provide additional depth to the scene. This photograph was taken in 2002 near Hopkinsville, KY.

Autumn Weed weed  copy

My_Old_Kentucky_Home watermark copy

Pin It on Pinterest