Grass Stand Sun Filter (or Summer Sunset Through the Grass…..)
Yellow gradient to red but there were some low clouds messing up a perfect gradient. It’s hard to fight mother nature but I like the yellow and transitional orange in this. Stepping JUST over a ridge line with a long lenses camera is at sunset becomes habit. I work parallel ridgelines all the time looking for close / far perspectives such as this.
The sun is SOOOO bright you couldn’t look at this scene with the human eye. I’m about 150 yards back from this grassy ridge with around 400mm involved. I work the shadow line on the far ridge. Distance is your friend with this kind of shot. Maximum F-stop settings (high numbers) give you a deep field of focus. Ifs your first priority to get the grass AND the background in focus. Good thing, it’s a bright scene and the High f-stop makes your aperture a pin hole. Go higher if you can. Then I mentioned, distance from the foreground object is key. You have to be far enough back to get the grass AND the sun focused at the same time.
As I type this, we are going into a cold snap you will have experienced by the time you read the post. I build these posts about a week ahead on average. I post 6 different images everyday on FB along with the story or lesson for the narrative.
This is one of about 6 images I’m going to finish from this 800 + image timeline. There are many images that are similar but subtly different. I can’t finish all of them as many aren’t as good so….. Number 5 of 6 I believe at this post.
I was able to maneuver around on this small group of deer ruled by this buck. The glare from the sun is very significant in this rarefied light environment. Most cameras would wash out everything. This Sony Alpha 7R4 with a 600 x2 lens on it for an effective 1200 mm focal length at a few hundred feet distance. I was working the “Shadow line”. I find where the shadow of the hillside is and “go” there. Adjust for where the deer is and move backwards with the shadow as the sun sets. (the horizon is actually rising remember ).
Being able to maneuver around with the deer being unconcerned of course is the key to this. In this particular case, I was in a jeep. I have several sessions similar to this where I was working a parallel ridge several hundred yards away. The deer will even tolerate me away from my vehicle as long as I dress the part and mostly hide my form. I generally am dressed in heavy camo of various kinds depending on the day and how wet it is. I always obscure my human form.
We don’t have drive by shootings but we do have a few drive by shoutings up here 😝
So I’m driving around the backcountry . This old piece of Drill Stem Pipe was 10 foot high off the ground with this wonderful sun filter on top. No way a person that wasn’t standing on a horse to get this up there. It’d take a heck of a toss to place that bottle up there so high. At least a 3 pointer I’m pretty sure if so thrown.
I’m always looking for sun filters of any kind but glass in front of my lens. This of course is a notable exception. Usually I shun “Screw on” UV filters, Neutral Density filters and glass in general as they leave ghost images of the sun when pointing into the sun. This amber glass was the perfect solution to how to take the sun without blinding yourself or the camera.
Can anyone ID the Bottle as to what brand of beer? I don’t drink it so I’m clueless.
This was done with a canon M50 consumer level camera. Maybe 600 bucks on Amazon, get a used one. It’s a small sensor Mirrorless Removable Lens Camera that held up to me pointing them into the sun just fine. I can testify it can do this kind of work lolol. If you want a good mirrorless camera to start with fairly cheaply, I suggest that model. I’m not saying you couldn’t destroy the camera looking into the sun with a telephoto with no filter, you could.
Disclaimer, this kind of photography CAN damage your cameras and your eyes so use only mirrorless cameras rated for this work. Never work sun under f22 or even higher if your lens can stop down more.
I really don’t like glass filters in front of my lenses. They sometimes give me ghosts that are virtually impossible to remove. My alternative is to use what ever cellulose that is hand. I present a couple of nicely filled out grass seed heads for your filtration enjoyment…..
I find a lot a beauty in simple things. There is never a lack of something to focus on I find. As long as there is light, a piece of nature and a good camera, anything is possible. Making a crescent sun out of a cellulose fan…. not as straight forward as you think but worth trying sometime. Be careful not do this with a DLSR camera as you’ll likely blind yourself. I only use mirrorless removable lens cameras for such “into the sun” images. I watch the image on a video screen in my camera. There is no chance for me blinding myself looking at video. I point out AGAIN that regular DSLR cameras have a straight light path to your eye. You really can do damage.
Some mirrorless cameras are not made/designed/ able to look into the sun directly. You will burn a spot in your cameras sensor chip on smaller sensor cameras. You might check with the manufacturer to see if this kind of ultra bright work is safe with your particular camera/lens combination. Not all cameras are. The larger sensor cameras spread the image out over a much larger area and thus the temperature on the sensor is reduced.
I’m always looking for free cellulose filters to reduce the very very bright light from the sun. I never use filters in front of my lenses ever but natural ones. Extra glass get’s in my way but a Seed Filter for the Sun is always a good idea. I’m not sure of the plant species. There was a cluster of them by the road side so they are probably a noxious weed that just went to seed. I only know a two patches of this up here that I’ve noticed anyway. They seem to be very localized. It’s pretty stuff though with the sun playing through it. .
This was taken just a few weeks ago before the snow crushed all of this to the ground. Using a really Wide angle lens helps with this kind of capture but you want a lens that focus’s very closely. When I was shopping for a good wide angle, one of the things I paid a lot of attention to was how close the lens focuses. My 10 mm lens (here) will focus down to 9 inches away. Your setting FIrst priority is a high F stop….F-22 (deeper focal fields the higher the f-stop number) You need a deep focus for this… Shutter speed just has to be fast enough to stop any wind or hand motion of the seed headsSay 1/100th second. Then you just have ISO or camera sensitivity to balance the light equation to get the image where you want it. .
Your of course working manual settings on your camera. I don’t even know how to work my Sony Alpha cameras on Automatic. Never used it before on them. This image would have been capturable by a cell phone but this was a high end camera and lens.
Windmills make wonderful Sun Filters. This smokey sun was aiming to hide behind the old Windmill but little did he know I was watching with a camera looking into the that bright glare. The windmill moderates the light literally filtering some making it easier on my gear.
This is “Re Pete” about 3 miles out in the backcountry from my homestead. It takes me about 20 minutes to drive out there on two track roads negotiating gates etc.
He’s always photobombing my landscapes. I have no control over his actions🤣 (Years long narrative if you haven’t been following).
I certainly used a “cellulose” filter on this Sun-slit Twilight. Yup that tree is all cellulose and it filtered the light that made it through to my photon capture box. Hundreds of miles of atmosphere for light to travel through to make it into this twilight image before the sunrises above the horizon and illuminate the cloud deck. This is a night sky technically. The sun has not risen here and won’t for about 9 minutes in this timeline. It’s still 3 sun diameters below the horizon or so. Dead calm, 2 second exposure, f22, ISO 200.
This image is all about the use of negative space. 36×24.
I use filters all the time. In this case, I used a “Cellulose” filter (the thistle seed globe about 5 inches across) Biggest one ever lol. That old bright sun even here at sunset needs some moderation before those photons hit that digital chip in my Sony Alpha Cameras. Just for the record, I haven’t put an actual glass filter on ANY of the 7 cameras I used daily for well over a year🙏
I try REALLY HARD to be a photo-realist photographer.
Location: miles into the backcountry of the Bliss Dinosaur Ranch, Wyoming/Montana borderlands.