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photographing sunrays

Travel Forums Travel Photography photographing sunrays

1. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 9y

hey guys,

i got a question on photography... there are a number of times when a building or monument looks spectacular because the sun rays hit it and sort of splits into different rays or beams... but everytime i try and take it o n my camera, all i get is a bothch of light rather than thos well defined rays...

I use a point and shoot... SD300... can some tell me what i need to do? or do i need some sort of advanced setting/ SLR ??

2. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

I'm not familiar with the Canon SD300 but shooting directly in the source of strong light like the sun, even though it's split off by an object, is tricky.

First off, most consumer-level lenses don't have sufficient anti-glare coating so you'll sometimes get flaring.

Second, the small image sensor of digital compacts can't handle the range of light from extreme brightness to darkness. You'll more likely get blown highlights and dark shadows with little to no details in between.

However, your camera has Exposure Compensation up to -/+2 stops, try different exposures... one at the camera's auto setting, one at -1, one at +1. Then onto -2, +2.

3. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 9y

hey dezafinando,

thanks - i did try with different EV stops.... but all i got was a round light sphere, and absoultely no light beams... any idea which cams can hadle this?

4. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

I would look at the pro-sumer level cameras... ie Canon G6, G7, Olympus C7070, C8080 and maybe even an entry-level dSLR. Shooting in RAW also helps but you need a RAW converter software to convert to JPEG. I use Photoshop.

Edited:
I looked at your gallery. Did you take all those pix with the SD300? I like the one with the wave crashing onto the girl; table inside a restaurant and Yosemite... I was almost at the exact spot and took the same shot as yours. Overall, I like your compositions.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2007, at 2:33 AM by Dezafinado ]

5. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 9y

hey Dez...

nope - not all are with my Sd... the girl in front of the waves is using a Sony DSC h2 ( my friends which he lent for experimentation). the 'autumun beauties' is also using the sony. and except for the first one which is a film foto, rest are all sd 300's. And yea, i found the cam very handy and i was surprised by the quality of snaps...And Glad u liked them !!!

I will probably try the sun-ray shots using the sony, i might get better results.

I am considering the Canon S3 IS - i have this thing for canon cams... i simply love teh 12x feature...but i have been advised to go for a DSLR... I still dunno if i am ready for such a huge commitment. :)

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 9, 2007, at 2:38 AM by aprilsgal ]

6. Posted by Dezafinado (Respected Member 177 posts) 9y

Quoting aprilsgal

I am considering the Canon S3 IS - i have this thing for canon cams... i simply love teh 12x feature...but i have been advised to go for a DSLR... I still dunno if i am ready for such a huge commitment. :)

DSLR gives you a lot of room to grow at the inconvenience of bulk and weight.... and $$. The S3 is an excellent camera. However, it has the same sensor size as your SD300 (1/2.5"). The bigger the sensor, the better:

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Camera_System/sensor_sizes_01.htm

You may want to look at the PowerShot A640 whose Image Quality is very similar to its big brother (G7) but cheaper (even the S3). It has a newer and larger sensor but you won't have that ultra zoom of the S3. Canon reviews...

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/

If I didn't already have my Oly C7070, I'd probably jump for the G7 or A640. Some shots from my last trip to SE Asia:

Somewhere in Vietnam:
http://static.flickr.com/140/323264137_3fe76da67f_b.jpg

...in Thailand:
http://static.flickr.com/142/323258265_a0a3e76be6_b.jpg

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat:
http://static.flickr.com/136/323249869_ac085c7490_b.jpg

7. Posted by aprilsgal (Full Member 161 posts) 9y

hey - nice pics....

yep, i guess i need toread up quite a bit before i get hasty on my second invstmt! tx for those links :)