Harnessing The Power Of Sunflare

Large sunflare over the beach in Hastings

(Photo taken at: 1/400, f/16, ISO 100 – with florescent WB)

This past few days has brought with it glorious sunshine. In England when the sun comes out, people go a little crazy, off come half the clothes, and everyone crowds onto the nearest patch of grass.

In my case my craziness reveals itself in my love for making things sparkle. I’ll take any excuse to create little shining stars across an image, the more or the bigger the stars, the better. To celebrate another beautiful summer morning, I thought I’d share a little tip to help you play with flare yourself.

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Fields of Gold – Part 2

I went back to the field today.

It was cloudy, cloudy, rainy, cloudy, aaall day long. However, as soon as I left work there was a brief burst of sunshine. I ran to the field, and took a few more photos before the sun went away for the night.

(Photo taken at 1/4000, f/1.6, ISO 100)

I was so pleased, the sun was exactly where I hoped it would be, and just bright enough to make the flowers shine, with just enough cloud to make the sky interesting. The photo gods were smiling on me this evening.

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A little ray of sunshine…

This week has been cold.

So cold.

The first thing anyone says at the start of the conversation is, “It’s cold!”

But today I found an SD card full of photos from the winter, and what struck me was the amount of sun we seem to have had.

Eastbourne pier in winter sun

Eastbourne in November, as I sat and wrote…

Tea and teacake in an Eastbourne tearoom

And moved inside to bask in the indoor sun when it grew nippy.

The sun across the water, seen from the cliffs at Seaford

Seaford in January, wrapped up all warm.

Portrait with sun flare lighting the frame

And this Saturday.

As I cycle to work tomorrow, I shall pull my scarf up around my ears, put my head down and think of all the sun we’ve had, and the sun that is yet to come. Maybe it will help keep me warm!

Sunshine and Imperfection

A few weekends ago, I was helping I was helping a friend with a music video project. Filming with him is always fun, he’s great to work with, and he has a drool-worthy range of equipment that I would be over the moon to own. As the day went on, however, I found myself getting frustrated by the… I don’t know… the preciseness of everything I guess.

Being a professional filmmaker, at least in projects like this, makes it all about using the perfect lens and ticking shots off the shot list. I missed the spontaneity of my usual photographic style. (My filming and my photography are interchangeable in my mind,  the only difference I see between the two is that one of them moves.)

A few days later I went to stay with my very lovely friend in the fields of Norfolk, and we made our own film using her D90. Shedding the constraints of perfection, we used purposely dodgey, over-saturated colour settings to shoot shaky, handheld footage through a lens that had a smashed UV filter. We captured snippets of anything that caught our eye as we wandered through fields, jumped into rivers and trailed along the beach. It was so freeing and so, so much fun.

The finished video is imperfect, and I love that every moment is entirely unique to us. A four minute window into our very own summertime.