I just returned from a photography packed trip in Montana put on by the Mentor Series, and I am still trying to download all the images I shot. We photographed animals at the Triple D Game Ranch, North American Indian Days, models fly fishing and kayaking, and the beauty of Glacier National Park. Thanks again to everyone who put this trip together, and the great participants on the trip!
One technique we explored was shooting into the sun. This angle is generally the last thing photographers are thinking about; lens flare, tricky exposures and spotty autofocus can all be problems when you photograph from this angle. But the results are worth it! Our first subject shooting into the sun was avalanche lillies on Logan Pass. These delicate yellow flowers are only about 4 inches tall, so to start with, some of the participants and I laid down on the ground at eye level with the flowers. Next, we positioned ourselves so the sun would drop behind a peak around sunset, producing a nice sunstar and backlit flowers. Remember, to produce sun stars you need to use a small aperture opening like F16.
Next up was photographing a huge Blackfoot Indian Pow Wow. This is an amazing event; bright colors, heavy drumbeats and loud chanting creates a powerful experience. We had complete access to this event, and we all got some great images. As the sun was setting during some dancing, I realized it would be at the perfect angle to shoot through the elaborate headdresses worn by the dancers. There were only five minutes where the dancers and the sun lined up, and I got one of my favorite shots during the trip.
Remember when the sun is setting, anticipate possible shooting opportunities you might have….