A Super Simple Trick for Shooting Into the Sun in Landscape Images

You know those tricks that are so brilliant in their simplicity that you smack your head in disbelief when you see them? That was me the first time I saw this. Here's a great way to avoid lens flare and loss of contrast when you're shooting into the sun.

Coming to you from Michael Breitung, this video shows a super simple trick for shooting into the sun and avoiding lens flares and loss of contrast. As you can see, shooting into it will often produce lens flares, and we're not all J.J. Abrams, so that's not always a desirable thing. The way around this is simply covering up the sun with your hand. Because of the extreme dynamic range, you'll need to exposure bracket and blend anyway, so in the shot that's exposed for the landscape, you can simply block the sun since you won't be using it from that exposure anyway. From there, you can blend the resultant images and make some further adjustments should you so desire, as he shows. As he mentions, be extremely careful when you're shooting into the sun. He's using a wide angle lens, which is why it's not damaging the sensor, but still, avoid using the viewfinder, and in particular, never point a telephoto at the sun. 

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7 Comments

Andy Day's picture

Ridiculously simple. Love it.

Ansel Spear's picture

Nice tip, but I lost the will to live listening to him.

His monotone speaking reminds me of my Biology 101 professor from college! ;-)

Jeff McCollough's picture

His videos bore me soooo much.

saw this a few years ago from someone else where they just stuck their thumb over the sun. Same exact concept. Pretty neat stuff!

John Boulder CO Photographer's picture

Does this work with mobile phone cameras by chance since the lens is flat and in the open, always exposed to surrounding light?

I suppose it would work if you can put it on a tripod of something like that.