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      09-23-2011, 11:38 AM   #1
M_Six
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Shooting the sun

I've seen pics with the sun clearly in the frame and not blown out into a big white blob. How does one do this? I can never seem to get a nice round disc or starred disc like some folks do. In these pics the sun was not too bright to look at directly. You could see it was a nice round shape. Yet I couldn't capture that. Does it take a 10-stop ND filter to avoid blowing out the sun?



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      09-23-2011, 12:12 PM   #2
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prolly a gradient ND filter.

http://www.singh-ray.com/inthefield.html
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      09-23-2011, 01:03 PM   #3
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Here's an example. (Not my shot.)



Although looking through this thread on POTN I see several such images and they all have two things in common: they're taken with the 10-22mm and they have cloudless blue skies.
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      09-23-2011, 01:06 PM   #4
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      09-23-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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      09-23-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
Here's an example. (Not my shot.)



Although looking through this thread on POTN I see several such images and they all have two things in common: they're taken with the 10-22mm and they have cloudless blue skies.
likely 3 things in common: under exposure elsewhere in the image. Unless they are using a device to stop down the sun it's nearly impossible properly expose an image with the in the frame.

BTW, i should have put a disclaimer up with the link i posted above saying i'm not responsible for the amount of money you'll want to spend on filters after watching that video.
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      09-23-2011, 05:42 PM   #7
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      09-23-2011, 05:44 PM   #8
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Exposure bracketing (one exposure with the subject properly exposed, and another stepped way to where the sun is clearly visible, you may need a ND filter for this exposure). Then combine the two in post process.

Gradient/Graduated ND filter, but may not give the best freedom.

Or combine both the above for maximum freedom.
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      09-23-2011, 06:14 PM   #9
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ND filter and stop down
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      09-23-2011, 06:26 PM   #10
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Lowest ISO, stop down and, if necessary, ND filter.
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      09-23-2011, 06:47 PM   #11
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      09-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #12
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PM TL, kid takes amazing pics.
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      09-23-2011, 11:31 PM   #13
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Only one I ever got was during a sunset, and the rest of the frame was under-exposed:



As others said, a graduated neutral density filter will let you separate the scene, but if it's not a clear cut line (like the one with the building), you will need to take multiple shots to get the full exposure range.
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      09-24-2011, 07:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
Here's an example. (Not my shot.)



Although looking through this thread on POTN I see several such images and they all have two things in common: they're taken with the 10-22mm and they have cloudless blue skies.
Use higher f stop to get this effect, like f20
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      09-24-2011, 09:21 AM   #15
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I was shooting at f22 above. Helped a little, but still washed it out. I think the ND grad filter on top of my CP filter might work.
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      09-24-2011, 09:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Six View Post
Here's an example. (Not my shot.)



Although looking through this thread on POTN I see several such images and they all have two things in common: they're taken with the 10-22mm and they have cloudless blue skies.
that looks like it's shot through another window. that sun flare pattern is unnatural.
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      09-24-2011, 03:09 PM   #17
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I know I had a pics of the sun like in M_Six example pic.

It's just a snat shot, but here you go.

This is straight out of camera, one exposure.
Canon 7D + 10-22@10mm, 1/200sec and f/10. And probably a CPL filter.
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      09-24-2011, 06:04 PM   #18
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So again, the 10-22mm seems to be the key. I haven't seen the sun like that in a clear blue sky pic taken with any other lens.
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      09-25-2011, 12:04 AM   #19
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Another thing to look at is that all the shots that are showing the disc of the sun with rays are clear day no haze shots, and the original shots with blown portions you provided are through cloud and haze. This diffuses the light quite a bit. Even in the clear day shots, the sun is blown out, its just a sharp image of a blown out area. With the haze in your shots it's spreading the blown out portions beyond the disc of the sun itself.
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      09-25-2011, 12:26 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by fluidkaos View Post
Another thing to look at is that all the shots that are showing the disc of the sun with rays are clear day no haze shots, and the original shots with blown portions you provided are through cloud and haze. This diffuses the light quite a bit. Even in the clear day shots, the sun is blown out, its just a sharp image of a blown out area. With the haze in your shots it's spreading the blown out portions beyond the disc of the sun itself.
Exactly. And my issue is that my eyes see the sun as a perfect round disc in the haze and fog. So how do I capture that without blowing out highlights or ending up with a grossly underexposed foreground?

I'm thinking I need an ND filter, so I just ordered one. We'll see how it works. And the next time I see the sun filtered through fog, I'll try the ND filter and I'll try a shot with my 10-22mm to see how that lens handles it.
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      09-25-2011, 08:24 AM   #21
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Mark,

I'm wondering if this is one of those times when you just need HDR to replicate what you see. I'd try exposing for the sun, which should create a nice disk, but dramatically underexpose the foreground. Then blend that image with one properly exposed for the foreground (possibly with some intermediate exposures as well if those two extremes differ by too many stops).

Note that the sun is massively overexposed in all the shots where the sun shows up as a star shaped flare, while the sky surrounding is more normally exposed. If you're looking for that sort of effect I think you need to have a clear sky to contrast with the sun rather than clouds which will scatter and obscure the flare (that and a lens with flat rather than rounded aperture blades). Most folks prefer rounded blades for the cleaner bokeh they produce, but if you want sharply defined diffraction highlights in your flare flat blades are the way to go.
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      09-25-2011, 01:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vachss View Post
Mark,

I'm wondering if this is one of those times when you just need HDR to replicate what you see. I'd try exposing for the sun, which should create a nice disk, but dramatically underexpose the foreground. Then blend that image with one properly exposed for the foreground (possibly with some intermediate exposures as well if those two extremes differ by too many stops).

Note that the sun is massively overexposed in all the shots where the sun shows up as a star shaped flare, while the sky surrounding is more normally exposed. If you're looking for that sort of effect I think you need to have a clear sky to contrast with the sun rather than clouds which will scatter and obscure the flare (that and a lens with flat rather than rounded aperture blades). Most folks prefer rounded blades for the cleaner bokeh they produce, but if you want sharply defined diffraction highlights in your flare flat blades are the way to go.
You're probably right. A full HDR bracket of maybe 5 shots. The trouble there might be in the blending. If the cloudy/foggy area around the sun is also underexposed it will be hard to get it to match the normally exposed sky. It's just odd that to the human eye the sun behind the clouds or fog is a nice round disc and yet there seems to be no easy way to get a modern DSLR sensor to record that same image. I'm sure it's possible. I just need to keep at it. Next time I have the chance, I'll grab some bracketed shots. I also have an ND filter coming, so that may help.
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