Loved By The Sun

August 4, 2011

This past weekend, I took this picture:

That’s Emilia, standing in Cox Lake in the Kawartha Highlands, watching the setting sun. I love this shot, because the light of the sun just scatters around her. She’s in shadow, but she’s still all, you know, glowy. I love glowy.

I also love this shot, for its glowiness:

Although maybe this one isn’t so much glowy as it is sparkly. Still. What they have in common is sunshine. Lovely, golden sunshine. And the sunshine isn’t an effect; that is, it’s not something that I added with a solar flare app (there are such things) or some other filter. Both photos were taken with the camera – well, the iPhone – pointed directly into the sun.

Which is something that you might think you aren’t supposed to do (you certainly aren’t supposed to look directly into the sun), but it works. The trick is to make sure that the sun is off-center in the image – ideally, way off-center (note that in the second picture it’s fully off in the corner) – and/or filtered through or blocked by some obstacle, such that the rays get scattered or fragmented, as in the first image, or in this one:

All of these photos were taken late in the day, late afternoon or early evening, near sunset, which is when sunlight is best for these lovely, soft flares. You can get good solar flare any time of the day, really, but the mid-day sun is going to be brighter and harsher, even filtered through trees or clouds. But maybe you like it bright and harsh. I’m not judging.

Me, I like the glowy.

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    TwistedMummy August 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Awesome pics!

    GingerB August 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I love the glowy! I love it in pix and I love it when I look up at the sky and the rays of the sun fan out so they look like the pictures of Heaven or the way the clouds look when Jesus sits on some in kids’ books about God. Also I love skies that look like Maxfield Parrish illustrations and are ridiculously sublime. When you can capture it in a picture it is time to do the happy dance.

    Now, what exactly is your Bad Daughter wearing? A small backpack and no pants? Or are her wings a little folded in while she contemplates her next flight? But I am fairly certain she has no pants . . . we have been having trouble keeping pants on around here and consequently I have some lovely naked pictures that I really want to put on my blog, but I daren’t because, well, you know, all those annoying reasons. Perhaps I can add a modesty patch? But it would certainly affect the effect.

    Mother Ruckus August 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Gorgeous pics! I can’t believe you took those with the iPhone – amazing! How did you learn that trick?

    I very specifically remember a horseback ride on our family farm with my sister when the rays of sunshine looked similar to your picture. My older sister told me those rays of sunshine were souls being pulled up to heaven.

    Kimommy August 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Thanks for the tip! Always looking for ways to take more interesting photos with the iPhone.

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