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Shooting Sun


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#1 Jonathon Narducci

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 08:28 PM

I was wondering if anyone could adivise me how to shoot the Sun. The director I'm working with just decided that he wanted a shot of the sun during high noon.

I could use any advise on how to get something that looks good.

I'm shooting a on sony F900.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:34 AM

Just use a lot of ND, stop down, and point the camera at the sun and shoot it. I'm not sure what you're asking... Do you want a giant sunball with a telephoto lens? A small point of light flaring the lens?
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#3 Lars.Erik

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 04:29 AM

If you want a good high noon shot, but as David said not quite sure what shot you want.

Anyway, if the picture is a typical high noon with the sun and the sky etc. You need to take a meter reading not on the sun, cause everything else in the sky will be too dark too get any detail reading, but take a reading on the sky on what appears to your eyes to be close to medium gray. This will give the picture a good balanced reading between the highlights of the sun and the details in the sky and clouds etc.

Edited by Lars.Erik, 23 August 2005 - 04:33 AM.

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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 05:41 AM

Even ND filters may not protect the CCDs from permanent damage if you shoot directly into the sun --- ND filters may still transmit very high levels of UV and IR radiation. Protect your eyes as well.
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#5 Steven Budden

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 02:03 PM

In this case I guess you could shoot film.
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#6 Jon Allen

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 11:17 AM

Other options are to use a cheaper camera to get the shot, so in case the CCD gets burned, your main camera doesn't. If you're needing a generic still of the sun, just buy a stock photo, easy enough. Lastly, if your photoshop skills are up to the challenge, you could just draw a yellow circle against a blue background and add a few blur filters. :P
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 02:49 PM

I can attest that computers and CCDs can get really F-ed up by pointing the camera straight at the sun. This really isnÈt even a problem with film MP cameras, but while I was in vacation on HawaiÈi, I twice tried to take pictures of the sun with palm trees on the side, and both times the cameraÈs internal light meter overloaded, causing it to stop working for thirty minutes each time. I am lucky that it didnÈt stop working completely. On the Apollo 14 moon mission, one of the astronauts (Bene?) pointed the camera at the sun to try and take a picture and he overloaded the cameraÈs light meter completely, so they basically had almost no still pictures at all from that mission. I would be careful. . .

Regards.
\Karl Borowski
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 24 August 2005 - 03:18 PM

Yes, automatic metering circuits can be damaged if they focus the energy on the sensor. Fortunately, the worst that usually happens with the film is a damaged frame or two if the camera stops with the shutter open.

Remember, there can be so much energy that you can start a fire by focusing the sun with a magnifying glass (lens).
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 12:07 AM

You guys are all exaggerating the problem -- I almost can't think of an HD movie I've shot where I didn't point the camera at the sun at some point! Everyone has seen video footage where someone pans from the sun in the sky to the scene. I shot some gorgeous telephoto shots of the sun emerging from clouds on HD just using the internal ND's and stopping down the lens. "Jackpot" has a whole driving scene played from the back seat looking forward with the sun coming through the front windshield. If the ND is heavy enough, then the amount of light getting to the CCD is not horribly high. I'm not talking about leaving a camera pointed at the sun for a long period, but people shoot shots of the sun in the sky all the time in video without damaging their cameras.
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#10 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 09:16 AM

Panning past the noonday sun is quite different than having a prolonged stationary shot into the sun, which some might try to do. Most ND filters will still let UV and IR radiation through. (I'm not willing to risk my own or someone else's digital camera to test the limits though).
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#11 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 03:53 AM

Panning past the noonday sun is quite different than having a prolonged stationary shot into the sun, which some might try to do.  Most ND filters will still let UV and IR radiation through.  (I'm not willing to risk my own or someone else's digital camera to test the limits though).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


There is no problem shooting at the sun at all,
If you just always pointing at it with your iris set to a diaphragm that is appropriate.
Go with the high definition camera.
If the sun could burn the ccd, then why not a highlight on a scene wouldn't do the same?
All has to do with the amount or strength of light that falls on to the ccd.
U can have an extended shot of everything, if it's normal exposed.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#12 Mike Brennan

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 06:27 AM

There is no problem shooting at the sun at all,
If you just always pointing at it with your iris set to a diaphragm that is appropriate.
Go with the high definition camera.
If the sun could burn the ccd, then why not a highlight on a scene wouldn't do the same?
All has to do with the amount or strength of light that falls on to the ccd.
U can have an extended shot of everything, if it's normal exposed.
Dimitrios Koukas

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You won't be able to use Iris and ND to reduce the sun to a nice golden ball.
You'll need to use electronic shutter.
This will mean that there is a lot of energy hitting the ccd.
I suggest that you shoot an evening sun which will be less bright.

I regularly shoot with f11 1000mm prime lens.

A few years ago I did a timelapse with a 1/2 inch minicam and wideangle lens. It damaged the ccd.(the only damage I have ever done to a ccd. The damage was in the form of a slight pink trace across the ccd where the sun tracked across the ccd.

Why? Because the sun was focused into a very very small pinprick by the wide angle lens and the exposure was for the ambient light (the cityscape scene) and not the light source itself (the sun)

This is far different from spreading the energy across the whole ccd and dropping exposure as you do with a big closeup of the sun.
A prolonged wide shot of the sun on a wide lens is potentially more damaging that a closeup.

For total eclipes I use the appropriate filter.

A pola filter and ND in the filter wheel will get you in the ballpark.
Be aware that Sony has failed to fix strobing of highlights when using the shutter. (is most obvious at 25p and 24p) Some cameras are better than others.


Mike Brennan
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#13 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 09:11 AM

You won't be able to use Iris and ND to reduce the sun to a nice golden ball.
You'll need to use electronic shutter.
This will mean that there is a lot of energy hitting the ccd.
I suggest that you shoot an evening sun which will be less bright.

I regularly shoot with f11 1000mm prime lens.

A few years ago I did a timelapse with a 1/2 inch minicam and wideangle lens. It damaged the ccd.(the only damage I have ever done to a ccd. The damage was in the form of a slight pink trace across the ccd where the sun tracked across the ccd.

Why? Because the sun was focused into a very very small pinprick by the wide angle lens and the exposure was for the ambient light (the cityscape scene) and not the light source itself (the sun)

This is far different from spreading the energy across the whole ccd and dropping exposure as you do with a big closeup of the sun.
A prolonged wide shot of the sun on a wide lens is potentially more damaging that a closeup.

For total eclipes I use the appropriate filter.

A pola filter and  ND in the filter wheel will get you in the ballpark.
Be aware that Sony has failed to fix strobing of highlights when using the shutter. (is most obvious at 25p and 24p) Some cameras are better than others.
Mike Brennan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Mike u haven't read all my posts in this topic I guess?
All this topic has to do with a close up and not a time lapse with the iris set for landscape.

Dimitrios Koukas
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#14 Mike Brennan

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 02:57 PM

Mike u haven't read all my posts in this topic I guess?
All this topic has to do with a close up and not a time lapse with the iris set for landscape.

Dimitrios Koukas

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi Dimitrious,
I was using the time lapse as an example of how much a ccd *can* take before it is damaged.

The rest of the post I sugges that iris alone will not be enough to create a golden yellow ball, that electronic shutter will be needed. Golden yellow ball is maybe 4 stops ? difference to a bright hot sun image.


mike
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#15 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:34 PM

Hi Dimitrious,
I was using the time lapse as an example of how much a ccd *can* take before it is damaged.

The rest of the post I sugges that iris alone will not be enough to create a golden yellow ball, that electronic shutter will be needed. Golden yellow ball is  maybe 4 stops ? difference to a bright hot sun image.
mike

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Anyway,
Sun has always been a problem for me here in Greece, cause I rarely can found any cloud here, so most of the times is on my frames.
Noone have ever charged me for burnning anything like ccd's or films or anything.
I would have noticed the moment after.
But anyway, I remember camera's that had a problem with the sun.
Sony's M3, a tube camera.U can't even point at a single highlight without having the ''comet'' effect.
I am mentionning this just for historical reasons.I was using this as a cameraman back in 1988. CCD's where on the market then, but some companies were using them.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#16 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 October 2005 - 05:53 PM

I've shot plenty of inserts of the sun on video, mostly BetaSP and Digibeta cameras. A quick shot is not a problem for the CCD's.

One cool thing you can do with the sun is play with the lens flare, especially with zoom lenses. Try to frame the sun exactly in the center and do a slow zoom in or out, and watch these weird rings and disks of flare come and go. Try bracketing expsoures, or even rolling the iris to create different flare patterns.

The beauty of video (HD) is that you see what you're getting, and don't risk damaging your eyes when looking through the viewfinder.
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