Shooting into the sun

As children we were always warned not to look at the sun, and in photography the mantra is typically the same: put the sun to your back as you shoot.  You can’t go wrong doing this, especially soon after dawn or soon before dusk, since a wonderful warm light will fall on your subjects.  But sometimes, it is really fun to do what you’re not supposed to do, and shoot directly INTO the sun, just to see what happens.  You can end up with warm and interesting images that convey a very specific mood.

For example, here is a more typical shot of two zebras at the Attica Park outside Athens (a great zoo, by the way!!):

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But then for fun, I shot a few of the zebras running with my lens pointed directly at the sunset.  As a result, you can see the dust kicked up by their hooves and the image is definitely moodier.  I also increased the yellow color in post-processing to convey that warmth (your camera may get confused processing shots like this, cooling down the image because it registers high yellows from the sun’s rays).

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Shooting this way can also result in marvelous silhouettes.  Next time you are out at dawn or dusk, experiment a little…and you don’t need a fancy camera.  This giraffe photo was taken with my iPhone 4 :).

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