Photographing the Sun and Filters


Think Like a Photographer


Lesson Info

Photographing the Sun and Filters

if the sun is in my photograph then I can control what it looks like with the aperture setting on my camera watch the sun here were a delicate arch which is the arch on the left side here and this is that same location where earlier I showed you a picture yesterday of looking at one arch through another one that would be if I was standing over here on the near where the sun is tau left to the sun but if you look at the sun check out the difference between this shot in this shot the only difference between these two shots is the aperture setting used if you look at the difference between this shot in this shot you see the sun changing the only difference is the aperture setting so let's talk about how that works if you shoot where you have a really bright light source it doesn't have to be the sun it could be a street light it could be the headlights of a car anything that would be a point light source like a really small light source that's extremely bright if it's going to be somethin...

g that's going to blow out with no detail kind of thing then this is going to most likely influence it if you shoot with your aperture set wide open meaning the lowest setting it goes to then it's just going to look like the sun setting they're nothing special but then as you stop down your aperture you're going to find it starting to change the shape of that really bright light source here let's see what aperture settings I have so the first one is going to be a two point eight then I'm going to go toe a left f eleven and then have twenty two and you'll see the difference so this is f two point eight f eleven you're starting to get a bit of a starburst and then what did I say twenty two really gets that to be pronounced so eleven is a little bit twenty two is a lot and that just happens to be how it works when it comes to really bright small things they're going to be blown out in your viewfinder so if you see streetlight it's going down the street there you're going to have a bunch of them in your shot and you wanted to look different closed on your lands but it also could be a problem if you don't want that look because then let's say I'm shooting I think yesterday showed you a picture of a greyhound bus sitting there I might not want these weird looking things on their headlights or something I might even have to take a separate shot well shot wide open or close to that to just get the headlights and then paint that into the end result keeping the other version that had the aperture closed down to get the sharpness on the whole bus but using a separate shot just to put in the headlights if that would be an issue because sometimes it can be it's a little distracting if it's not the sun so anyway I think about that and any time you have the son know that you're having influence over its shape and it all has to do with you after your studying aperture is not always about exactly how much depth of field you have especially for shooting with a wide angle lens where your subject matter is more than about six feet away from you just about everything in the frame is going to be in focus the aperture setting it's not critical in that case so you might as well think about those bright light sources and how would you like to have them rendered all the things that I think about when I'm in the field is I remember how much of this I talked about yesterday or not but I know I have the images here and that is I think about shooting for different sized output because different things will be effective on big prince versus small prints and I try to capture things that will work with both because you never know when a publication is going to call you up and say we love your siri's of images on and then insert whatever it is you shot we'd love to reproduce them and suddenly you find out it's going to be reproduced one column wide the newspaper and that's tiny so if I shoot something like this this is a waterfall in california that falls directly onto a beach which is the whole reason for picking up your camera to take the photo but if I deliver this photo to a newspaper that wants to reproduce this one column wide the newspaper you're going to think it's a picture of flowers in some water and you're not even gonna notice there's a waterfall there right so this is an image that would work large because when it's large you khun see the waterfall and you khun enjoy it if I think something might be reproduced small I'm going to take a completely different shot to know that that element will work at a small size so that's one thing I try to think of any time in the field I've talked before about thinking about shooting verticals and horizontal sze but I also think about what if this gets reproduced huge or really small and I try to create images that will work for both why not capture those both all right then this is not the best looking image I think it's not the most exciting we're looking down a bridge but this was shot from behind a fence and here's what it would usually look like for most people to shoot it I'm shooting directly through a fence and I I'm not able to fit my lens inside of the hole in the fence my lenses too big to fit through the hole in the fence so how can I shoot right through a fence and make the fence not show up that's the trick this could be that you're at some sort of a zoo that has a fence or any kind of thing like that if it's the chain link variety where the actual fence itself is relatively thin it's not like iron rod honor offense where it's really thick bars in it instead they're very thin bars but it's usually gonna end up looking like this so what am I gonna end up doing what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna first focus on something far away focus on something far away so I'm going to focus out here somewhere and then I'm gonna shoot wide open if I open up the lens meeting give me a narrow depth of fields we're not gonna have a lot of sharp things in the image the things that are closer and closer to the camera lens we're going to be more and more out of focus and then I'm going to take my camera lens and push it right up to the fence and let it touch the fence not the actual glass in the front of the lens but the lens hood so my lens hood is actually touching the fence right now I'm focused in the distance and I'm shooting wide open because wide open means the lowest self stop number you can get to it means the narrow a step the field in the time it's true really hard to keep things in focus is you magnify them and you get them closer and closer to the camera so what's happening right here is the fence is still right in front of my lens but all it's doing is darkening certain parts of the frame because it is so out of focus that that's all it's able to do if you look right up here in the corner he tell the sky's a little bit darker kind of an odd way right there compared to right next to it in same right here it's actually doing that throughout the frame but it's just an out of focus chainlink fence that is so out of focus that it just becomes a little hint of darkness so push your lens hood up so it's touching that object should wide open and focus on something far away and that should help you to eliminate the look of chain link fences then another issue is if I need to shoot through glass sometimes I'm coming up to ah building or something else and what's really interesting is what's inside the outside is not interesting at all but if I just get up there point my camera problem is it's midday the sun is out the sun is going to light the glass and you're going to see a big shadow the shape of your lens hood and then the sun will be hitting these other areas so what do I do to eliminate that here you can see another example this is if you're a little bit further away from the glass you're going to see even more you can see the sky reflecting out of the glass so what I would do is I would grab my camera and I would take the lens hood off in his long as the lens does not extend beyond the front in most lenses don't it's mainly fish eye lens is where the glass might stick out beyond the front or the nikon fourteen to twenty four is pretty close to sticking out and I'd be careful with something like that but usually the glass element is recessed I'll actually take this and let it touch the window that's there even with this touching though you can still get reflections on the glass and what'll happen is you'll get reflections in the upper right corner upper left corner those kinds of areas but they'll be tiny you have just a small little areas so what I dio is when I'm shooting I got this right up its touching the glass and I just create my arm over it like this and what I'm doing is effectively using my arm to create a shadow on the glass just in those little corners where it's going to be still coming in so I got money camera right up against the glass I put my arm around it like this and I moved my arm until I noticed the reflections in the corners disappearing and then I can shoot through the glass and get something like this this is a diner that is kind of abandoned and slowly wearing away and they wanted to shoot the interior but it had some really dirty glass and I just shove my camera up there and as long as you get that really dirty glass close to the lens it's going to be so out of focus that you're not going to see the dirt just like the chain link fence doesn't show up you're the dirt's not going to show up it's so close to the lens that it's so out of focus uh it'll just make the image a little bit less sharp but that's how I handle windows the other thing is if it's just a window in your shot you're not actually trying to shoot the interior instead you are you just have a picture of a building and it happens to have some windows on it if you put a polarizer on your lens polarizer you can rotate and it can cut down on the reflections on glass so if I'm shooting a storefront and there's a big glaring reflection on the glass I'll put on a polarizer and I'll rotate it well I'm looking through the viewfinder until I see the darkest the image becomes the window becomes and that will be cutting us much of the glare off the window as I can I've been yeses do you normally use polarizer like do you keep a polarizer on your lens is some people will leave a filter in front of the lens of the camera just to protect the front element so something where they hit it you could just throw away in an expensive filter instead of a really expensive lens and that's an ok thing to do but if you do that I would use a uv filter which is just in general clear glass filter because of polarizing filter has some very specific uses and there's a lot of times when you would not want it on your lens and that's why I wouldn't leave it on the front of my lens all the time so if you think about a polarizer it's going to only allow light into the camera lens that air is coming from a certain angle when light bounces off in object you get scattered in all different directions in a polarizer is like a bunch of like blinds on your windows and itjust lets light in a particular angle and it's something we only want to use in certain times one thing is reflections if you want to get rid of a reflection or at least reduce a reflection on a store window I'd use a polarizer if I'm shooting water and I want to be able to see through the water to the rocks or a fish let's say that's underneath ah polarizer will help cut down the reflection that's there we'll talk about more uses for a polarizer later but one of the main reasons why I don't want to keep it on my camera at all times is it can darken blue skies which is a good thing usually cause a blue sky looks better when it's darker but it's going to do its work the best when you're pointing your camera ninety degrees from where the sun is so to think about that just take your hand and turn it into a gun and then point your thumb at wherever the sun is where it is in the sky I don't know where it is your time a day it's really low or if it's really hire where it iss and then if your camera lens was pointed wherever you're finger could be pointed while your thumb is still pointing at the sky that's when it's going to be most effective in darkening the sky point your thumb at the sun and then you can rotate around that film as long as it's still pointing at the son if your camera is pointed in that direction it's going to be very effective at darkening blue skies if you're blue skies in your frame and your pointed in the direction that's ninety degrees from the sun polarizer on the lens rotated your sky will get darker and more saturated and could look a lot better the problem is what if you do a panorama if you should've panorama of multiple shots and the blue sky is innit wherever you're camera when you're panning across it happens to be ninety degrees from the sun it's gonna darken the sky the most and then as you get to other parts it's gonna darken the sky less and less and you're going to end up with a very uneven sky does that make any sense if it works most strongly ninety degrees from the sun so that therefore I don't want it in the front of my lens at all times if I ever do a panorama it's going to screw it up also in other situations that could give me an uneven sky and so on lee put it on when I really needed also one other thing when it comes to filter since we're talking about them is when we talked about waterfalls and using it to stop neutral density filter you do have another option and I happened to have it here this is called a variable neutral density filter a normal neutral density filter is similar to your sunglasses where all it does is cut light that comes through it so it's just a tinted filter but this one is different this is actually too polarizing filters stacked together in a it has a different effect when we share what it does if I pointed towards the camera hopefully you can see me through this I can rotate this and watch what happens to me as I rotate it see how I can cut down the amount of light coming through so it's almost nothing and then I could go and get it a lot lighter and so this can act like a neutral density filter if I want to shoot a waterfall and control my shutter speed I could just dial this thing in half my camera adjust the shutter speed appropriately meaning if I'm an aperture priority mode where the camera chooses my shutter speed if I cut down the amount of light it's gonna automatically extend the exposure to compensate for it and I could take another shot that I could turn it more to get darker take another shot and then when I get back home I could see what she wanted I like the best the problem with these is first off I don't have experience with the newest ones they've improved these over the years this is an early one and when I bought this one this was extremely expensive now I think they cost a bit less but I found that with wide angle lenses that this khun introduce weird patterns in my picture it's more a pattern that looks similar to taking two screens from a screen door in kind of rotating them if you've ever seen the effect of doing that gives you a weird pattern and I found that in my skies on some images on ly what I'm shooting with a wide angle lens though if I went to a more of a standard lens like a fifty millimeter or seventy millimeter or something like that I didn't notice it as much but with a really wide angle lens which is often what I'm shooting with it gave me weird patterns in my skies but this is an early variable neutral density filter if you look at how thick it isthe it's really thick so that means the space between the two filters that air in here is greater than it probably would be in a modern version of this I just haven't mailed to talk myself into repurchasing something that was really expensive in the first place and I didn't like so but I thought I'd bring it up all right we've been talking about shooting through fences and glass but there's all sorts of other things to think about in one of them is sometimes I need to tell my camera up to get the top of a building in the frame but I don't want it to be getting smaller as it goes towards the top like here I have an archway that I used to frame a temple in the distance and I really like that but I don't want the top of this if when you look at the sides of it to be smaller than the bottom I want thes side areas to be straight up and down well if that's the case then I either need to not tell my lens somehow and sometimes that's not possible like in this particular case if I move my position the framing is going to be different here and other things so sometimes I just can't deal with it so what you have to dio is if you take an image and you open it I'll just double click on this it's a raw file bring it in the camera over on the left side ince murad there's a tab here called the lens correction tab and if I click on it we have a few choices one is if you have older versions you're not gonna have these top icon song and ignore those to start with we'll get to those later but there is a slider in here on the right side called vertical and I'm going to slide that around and watch what happens it's going to allow me to try to straighten out this image after the fact like that if it's now cutting off the top edge that's here there is a choice ing her called scale and I could turn it down to let me see more of the image and then I would need to crop they mitch back into a rectangle well that is where the problem comes in if I grab my crop tool and I come in here and try to crop this into a rectangle oh you'll see that I'm cutting off the edge especially if I want to include the bottom part of the picture you see how much of the image I end up having to cut off and so any time I realized that I'm tilting my camera up and I know up that I'm going to correct for it later I always pad the image meaning I make sure that I have extra space around that image so instead of capturing this I would zoom out a little bit or step back just one step to get a little bit extra space around it so that I know after I correct for that that I have the space for cropping where I'm not going to end up cutting too far into the image the other thing that I'll occasionally do issues walk further away from the building so I'm far enough away that I don't have to tilt up and then I'll simply crop this image and so those are my two options either leave a little bit of padding so I'm going to correct for a digitally or backup far enough where I don't need to tilt up and then I'm going to end up just cropping this picture in so I'm only going to use half of the image

Class Description

So you just bought your first DSLR, now what? In this two-day workshop, professional photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Ben Willmore will take you inside his award-winning mind. From composition techniques to post-production Photoshop magic, Ben will unpack everything the pros know about taking and editing amazing photos. Ben will reveal his entire thought process when shooting — showing you how simple choices like lens selection can dramatically alter your results. You will also learn what settings you need to capture the right light, how to modify your gear to make it more useful, Photoshop techniques to polish your photos, and how to use apps and software to streamline your workflow. Whether you’re a beginning photographer, or a working photographer interested in a refresher course, this workshop will teach you how to make the most out of your DSLR.


Ashleigh L

AMAZING CLASS! I caught bits and pieces of the live stream, but even in those bits and pieces of it, I learned so much! He's a great teacher, easy to understand and great visuals. He "walks around" the subject to give us different POV, tells us the negative/positive/neutral of the photo, and tips. Thank you, Ben!