Shooting into the sun produces dramatic photos, if you are careful. The sun has to be partially blocked by something, usually a tree. Even so, the lens sometimes adds “interesting” optical effects. The star-like rays are a product of the lens diaphragm that controls the aperture, with a ray for every corner where the leaves of the diaphragm meet. That’s a nice effect. Prismatic effects produce odd splotches of color, and those are not so nice. A little Photoshop® retouching helps a lot in those cases. This photo of the dahlia garden in the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens shows the benefit.
Once you own a digital camera, you can take extra images for negligible cost. Don’t use the capability to take nearly identical pictures of the same subject. That just clogs up the editing pipeline when dispose of them later. One of the worthwhile uses of free images is capture signs and brochures that describe the subjects of your photos. Visiting the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, Arizona, I took this photo of an unusual plant called willow groundsel. This picture doesn’t reveal what is so unusual, but a photo of an accompanying sign keeps the memory alive.
… these photos are straight point-and-shoot images taken with a pocket camera. … I didn’t adjust the lighting in Photoshop. The trick, insofar as there is a trick, is to not to be afraid of shooting into the light.
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