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Shooting against the sun

Have you ever tried taking photos in the direction of the sun, where some rays or lens flares are visible in the photos? Or maybe where the hair of the person you photograph have this nice yellow glow? Today I will share some tips if you want to try shooting against the light. The best time to do photos against the sun is in the early morning when the sun rises up or in the evening when the sun goes down. The light at those times of the day is soft and brings out its charm.

1. Frame the sun rays

Let the sun rays go through some shapes straight into your camera lens. If it is too bright, modify the object that blocks the sun. On the photo below I could easily ask my model to move her arms to let more/less sun through the space around her arm.

2. Block the sunĀ 

If the sun is blocked and if you photograph a person, it can make this beautiful glowing aura around the person’s hair.

3. Let the sun guide the viewer’s attention on the part of the image you want them to focus

The brightest areas of photos usually grab the most attention, meaning that our eyes are guided to those areas. You can read more about guiding one’s attention in the free e-book about Composition in photography. On the photo below, the brightest area is the reflection of the sun in the water, which shape guides the attention to the nicely lit face of the photographed person.

4. Focus before letting the sun rays into your lens

Autofocusing can be difficult to use when you take photos against the light. In case you don’t want to focus manually, a good option is to block the sun as you saw in point 2, focus and then move your camera to let the sun rays in.

5. Move around with your camera to get the lens flare you like the most

The lens flare is very nice to look at. If you move the camera while letting the sun rays in, you can see the endless varieties. Almost like in a kaleidoscope.

The photos you see here are from the beach on Saturday morning (4.30 a.m). My model for this shoot was Lana, who is currently working on her page about meditation, yoga, and conscious life. The light at that time of the day is magical!

So what do you think? Will you give a try to shooting against the sun?