Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Photographing The Sun (In Urbex Photography)

On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California
Photographing the sun can be very challenging. The scene has such a large dynamic range that digital sensors are not capable of capturing all of the highlight and shadow details. There can be lens flare and color fringes that you may not want.

Yet, including the sun in your urban exploration photographs can yield dramatic results. Some of my favorite photographs have the sun included in the frame.

One trick that I like to use is to partially block the sun with an element in the frame, reducing the brightness of the scene. This lowers the dynamic range of the scene slightly.
Keep Out The Sun - Tehachapi, California
Since the viewer will be drawn to the sun, you have to be purposeful where you put it in the frame. Make sure that the sun takes the viewer exactly where you want them to look.

Balancing clipped highlights with black shadows can be tricky. Each scene will be different and will have to be judged uniquely. If you are not sure, simply bracket the exposure and decide later which exposure is most appropriate. A little fill flash can go a long ways toward illuminated dark shadows.

In this post you will find examples of my images that include the sun. Some of these have been published. I used several different cameras, such as a Sigma DP2 Merrill, a Nikon D3300, and a Nokia Lumia 1020. It doesn't matter which photographs were captured with which camera because gear isn't important, vision is.
Sunrise Through Old Window Shade - Rosamond, California
Broken Home At Sunrise - Mojave, California
Sunset Through The Broken Glass - Victorville, California
Better Days Behind - Tehachapi, California
Light Through The Rafters - Mojave, California
Hope Through Brokenness - Mojave, California
Sun Disc - Rosamond, California
A Light In The Dark - Tehachapi, California
West - Tehachapi, California
Memories of A Sunny Day - Mojave, California
Look Up - Mojave, California
Bent Nail - Mojave, California

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