Monday, November 23, 2009

I ♥ Faces Challenge - Sun Flare

The I Heart Faces Challenge this week is Sun Flare. Let me tell you, it was a huge challenge for me. I tried every setting I could possibly think of to get those beautiful rays and I just couldn't do it. Below is the best I could get. Please keep reading after the picture for a request from me.

I am asking for help from the wonderful I Heart Faces readers. What can I do? I shot for 2 hours yesterday trying to figure it out and I couldn't. I live on the east coast and it was around 2:30 when I started. The above photo was taken around 4:30.

I have a ton of pictures that have a huge white blob on the side. I have read the tutorials and kept my f-stop on a high number, usually hovering around f/22 or so. I also tried to position myself where I could see the rays and I could see them in the viewfinder but when I snapped the picture it was white. Either the whole picture was white or the side of the picture was white. I shoot with a Nikon D80 and used the kit lens.

The Exif for this photo is:
f/16 - one of the lower ones I tried.
Exposure - 1/200sec
ISO - 1600
Focal Length - 58mm

When I shot this same photo with the above information but at 1/50sec the top was extremely white and the subjects were brighter. Here is a screen shot of a few I took.

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!



  1. To accomplish my sun flare here are the settings I used:

    Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
    Aperture: f/6.3
    Focal Length: 60 mm
    ISO Speed: 125

    I've captured a lot of sun flare lately and it's usually when I can keep my ISO down, my fstop a wee bit deep (like it is above to avoid blow out spots) and I angle it through something like in mine it's a tree. That always seems to work well on getting the real version of the flare action in Photoshop.

    Now bare in mind, when I looked through a lot of the other entries, I didn't actually see the sun flare spots as much as just an obvious sun "glare." So I may be taking it too technical LOL Great try!!!

  2. I think your ISO was too high... at least in thinking back to the pics I took. My best ones, for whatever reason, were filtered through trees. Seems like I get better flare when the sun is coming across or through something, like trees or the top of a house. But I'm certainly no expert! And I love your guys' hats... :<)

  3. I think your photo is sweet!

    Flare is SO hard to capture on purpose! Especially with faces (and my uncooperative models). I've seen a lot of photos of structures with flare but not many faces.

    My photo had f/11, 1/160, iso 200. I had a ton of blow-outs from the sun. I tried to make sure the sun was just peeking out from behind the head (or shoulder), low iso, medium f/stop and medium shutter.

    I think the white-blob-sun is inevitable. But if it's placed just right, the result gives the photo a soft look.

  4. I had my ISO right down at 80 and my shutter speed at 1/50 (I have Image stabilizaton). Aperture 3.5. I also have my 'custom colours' set so that the pictures are sharper and more contrasty SOOC - this really helps. Then I angle the camera so that the flare is just peeking in at the corner, or like has been said, through a tree or roof-top. Then I move the focus point out of centre screen. HTH . Cx

  5. I don't have any advice for you (I'm a beginner and I don't even know what the different settings all mean on my camera, lol!) but I just have to say I really like your picture, even if it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to. I like the warm soft glow from the sun, and the expression on both of their faces.

  6. Wow!!! You certainly put in a lot of work, that is fabulous!! So nice to see people using the i heart faces as a real challenge {as opposed to me... who just sifts through existing images!!} How I started practicing with sun flare was not at all about the teshnical stuff - I just found that if I lined up the sun so it was coming from behind something, I could get a beautiful star burst - and I made notes from there, and eventually worked out a pattern for what worked and what didn't!! Pratice with the sun going down over a roof, worked for me!!!

  7. I think the large amounts of white are due to how high your iso is. Lower it to 200ish. apeture priority at f16 should be fine, let the camera pick the shutter if you don't want to. Great first try! Good for you for putting in so much effort!