Use Technology To Reveal The Full Range Of Image Data
Astonishingly, RAW files from current DSLRs can capture—in a single exposure—the full tonal range of strongly backlit scenes like this one, without use of filters. We can still make good use of graduated ND filters or exposure blending techniques to optimize our exposures, of course, but the idea of a 14-stop dynamic range in a single capture was only a dream for color photographers a few years ago.
Part of the fun of photography comes from uniting technique and technology to manifest creative vision, and the ever-increasing ability to view challenging lighting as opportunity is just one reason why photography today excites me more than ever. Tuning into the various qualities and movements of light—of "facing into the wind"—feeds my soul and gets me out there to see how the sunrise will evolve today.
Here are a few tricks to avoid or minimize lens flare when shooting into the light: 1 Remove all filters. 2 Make sure the lens surfaces are clean, front and back. 3 Use a lens hood. 4 Shade the lens with your hand, hat, black card or body. If your camera is on a tripod, try standing where you can actually see the shadow fall across the front of the lens. 5 If you aren't able to shade the entire front element without getting your hand in-frame, at least try to fully shade the entire aperture diaphragm hole itself—you'll eliminate most flare. 6 If the sun is within your composition, you can try to hide it partially behind a tree, cloud or other object to reduce the intensity of direct sunlight falling on your lens.