Don’t Shoot Into the Sun: Debunking an Old Photographer’s Tale
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It’s a “rule” I’ve heard countless times over the years…
Don’t shoot into the sun.
Now, this isn’t to discount the dangers of aiming your camera directly at the sun. Just like your eyes, your camera can be damaged with all that light coming right down the barrel for a long period of time.
But from a compositional standpoint, the notion that you should never have the sun in the frame is just plain bogus!
When it comes down to it, the capabilities we have with our cameras and post-processing software makes photos that include the sun not only possible, but rife with possibilities for a gorgeous photo.
You can create a beautiful backlit portrait, like the one above, that accentuates the shape of the subject, but also includes that beautiful, soft, warm light of the setting sun. Photography is all about lighting, so why not include a burst of it as a background element?
There are opportunities for including the sun in your landscape shots as well. Consider the photo above as a prime example of this. The sun is nearly in full view, with its beams radiating outward that gives this image added visual interest.
What’s more, having the sun directly in the frame gives us a sense of its energy and warmth, which is mirrored in the brightness of the green grass and in the light filtering through the autumn leaves. Just imagine this photo had the sun been behind the photographer - it just wouldn’t be the same!
In the video below, Jimmy McIntyre offers up a few more reasons why shooting into the sun isn’t a bad thing at all, and outlines how the problems it presents (like flare) can be fixed in Photoshop. Follow along as he breaks down some truly spectacular sun-filled images to drive home the point that shooting into the sun isn’t taboo any longer.