Published on: 14th Mar 2015When judging photo competitions I very often see photographs taken towards the sun at sunset or sunrise - with the sun in the scene. I think these photographers are very brave!
As an experiment, I tried to "fix" this white sunset ball in the raw converter using highlight recovery, but I think that we are now so used to the totally blown out sun, that this recovery looks unnatural to me. I am including both versions for you to decide which one you like better.
I sometimes shoot towards the sun, but most of the time this is done after the sun has disappeared below the horizon - in that magic time called twilight (about 20 minutes after sunset).
Shooting towards the sun without including it will very often create a nostalgic mood. The photograph at the bottom of this article is a good example showing how the dust in the air created awarm feeling. Eliminating the horizon also lowered the overall contrast contributing to the nostalgic mood.
Having fog during sunrise, shooting towards the sun will render the fog as a golden haze.
When you are out in the field and you are lucky enough to have clouds, look towards the horizon where the sun will set. If you see a gap between the horizon and the clouds, there is a good possibility that the clouds will turn orange or red about 15 to 20 minutes after sunset. (This only happens to the patient photographer who lingers at the scene long after the sun has set!) The clouds in the photo of the baobab tree is a good example of this phenomenon. As a matter of interest, the baobab tree in this photo, is the one we use on the Photoparadise.org correspondence!
(If you have read up to here and did not click on a photo yet, do so to see them in larger format and also to browse through the rest of this gallery)