Project 52 – Sun Flare

I seek out incredible sunlight.

As a photographer, I feel like half my job is hunting amazing light. You know the kind  – the warm, yellow rays that just come bursting sideways over the horizon.

The thing about really phenomenal light – like any valuable commodity – is that it’s really rare and hard to come by. It only happens for a few precious minutes everyday – either when the sun is on it’s way up in the very early morning – or on it’s way down in the dusky evening. And everyday it’s different. It’s color and quality always depend on the atmosphere in the sky on that particular sunrise or sunset. There are days when the light is just mediocre -and other days when it is absolutely to die for.  It’s all part of the formula for a perfect photograph. The more dynamic the light – the more dynamic the image.

So obviously, based on my love for sunlight – I was completely thrilled when I heard that this week’s theme for Project 52 was ‘Sun Flare’.

Sun Flares happen when a ray of sunlight shines into the eye of the camera lens. The light penetrates through the lens and hits the camera’s sensor sometimes producing round, rainbow-like shapes. And boy, are they a visual dream.

Sun Flares are one of my favorite things to experiment with in my photography. I love shooting directly into the sun. I do it as often as I can. Although, it’s not a terribly easy task to master since the camera’s settings have to be adjusted to the extreme to accommodate for the flood of light entering the lens. The camera also has absolutely no idea what to focus on, because the subjects and contrast in the composition get completely blown out by all the light. I learned a trick where I cup my hand over the top of my lens – just as if I were shielding sun from my eyes – and it helps to block the light and allow the camera to see what to focus on. Then I take my hand away and click the shutter as fast as possible before the camera attempts to refocus. Needless to say, it took me a quite a while to make a successful sun flare image. But when I finally did – it was completely worth it. Sun flares can give a sort of fairytale feel to an image – an ethereal quality that creates the sensation of infinite magic and beauty.

Lucky for me – my perfect fuzzy niece and nephew let me take them out for a romantic sunset walk through the park in an attempt to stalk down some sun flares. And even luckier for me – we scored one of those rare moments – the most incredible evening of heavenly sunlight.

Simba decided to spend most of the evening defying gravity. Meanwhile, Nala was controlling my treat hand telepathically with her outrageous silver eyes. They literally had me cracking up the entire time.

Watch out Nala!

Two of my favorite people in the whole world – Simba and Nala’s two-legged parents – came along for our adventure. (They were a huge help with the fuzzbutts!) I couldn’t resist a shot of the whole family ..

Miss Nala. An angel on earth…

Oh. How I love playing in yellow light!

Now don’t forget this is a blog ring! Click on over to Unleashed! Pet Portraits in Victoria, British Columbia to see what sun flares just north of us look like! Follow the links all the way around and end up right back here where you started!

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Posted on June 8, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Sharon Stokes

    WOW and more WOW!! They are all stunning images, but that last one, of Nala – now that is something really special!

  2. These are fantastic! Love, love the one where Simba is levitating and of course the last one of Nala. You really hit this one out of the park.

  3. Thank you so much ladies! 🙂 We had such a fantastic time playing in the sunlight. I love those two puppies so much! And since you are both fellow photographers – I’ll let you in on the trick that created the last shot of Nala: f/22. Shooting directly into the sun at f/22 (or higher if your lens allows) creates the most incredible starburst like the one above.

  4. BEAUTIFUL! I can’t pick a favorite; I love them all. Maybe, just maybe, my favorite is the one with their backs toward the camera because I love how they are leaning. And, by the way, is Simba on springs?

  5. The one with SImba jumping in the air is fantastic! Love it!

  6. I just love your work 🙂

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