Cameras are designed to keep flare away. Thus, flare is not what a photographer would naturally be looking for in his portraits. Most photographers are of the perception that shooting into the sun can distort images, make them have too much contrast, blow out the highlights and bring out oversaturated hues and flares. Yet the truth is that bringing flare to your images can be a great way to make these images look unique, eccentric and full of life.
Creating flare is one of the easiest yet most overlooked techniques in photography. But more and more photographers are beginning to use the flare trick to make their images more vivid. Flare can also give a photographer a new perspective from the one that he has been using in all his shoots. All that is required to obtain a stunning flare is simply to be creative in the use of lighting.
Let’s take a look at TOP 5 ways to shoot in the sun and get flare:
Working With Exposure
How you expose your subject will really determine whether the type of flare on the image will come out perfectly. Exposure is the amount of light coming in through the camera sensor and because you are shooting directly toward the sun, this light is a lot. Naturally, you would want to adjust the light meters to ensure that the subject is not exposed too short to appear dark or too long to be washed out by the light. However, because you are looking for artistic flare, do not adjust the light metering and instead use the manual mode. This way, the camera will capture both the subject and all the light in the scene. Manual mode lights up the subject while at the same time compensates for the light in the background. On the contrary adjusting the light meter will create the silhouette effect.
Obtaining Good Focus
Admittedly, as you shoot directly to the sun, your camera will have a hard time focusing on the subject. Apply the focal lock to focus the camera directly at the subject, while the sun is behind the; this way, you will easily autofocus. Then, move back until you find the best composition for the shot. Consider using a wider aperture as this will give you space to position the camera to obtain the best shot. However, remember that wide aperture shooting requires that you do not move the camera as this will bring the flare out of focus.
Shooting At Angles
When shooting into the sun remember that you are not looking for overexposure but artistic flare. As such, pay attention to the angle of the camera in relation to the sun. The angle for which you will obtain flare depends on the time that you take the shoot. If you take shoots in the middle of the day, you might have to lie on the ground to shoot in the sun. If you do not want to lie down, consider shooting in the late afternoons or mid morning when the sun in soft.
Choosing Lens Type
The type of lens you use will influence the nature of flare you obtain. Lenses with a fixed focal length will give you less flare compared to zoom lenses whose surface are more likely to reflect light. Additionally you might want to avoid wide-angle lenses as they are usually manufactured to resist flare. Old lenses such as those designed by Hasselbald or by Leica do not have anti-reflective coating and are the best for obtaining flare in your images. If you are doing video marketing, you may better understand the usability of lens.
Applying Depth of Field
A great way to artistically bring out flare in an image is to create a shallow depth of field. Basically, this is the soft blurry effect in the background of the subject. The two main things that will affect the depth of filed are the focal distance and the aperture. The larger the aperture and the nearer the focal distance the shallower the depth of field. With regard to the zoom lens, you might want to shoot at 55mm, this way you can stand further away from the subject and obtain a blurry flare.