I get a lot of requests for advice on taking fitness photos. I like to play with the sun and the sky and I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned with you. I'm no expert, though. A lot of what I've learned has been through trial and error, and there's been some dumb luck too. You know, right place, right time...
Today, I'm going to share some of my secrets for capturing the sun in my photos!
One of the hardest things to capture in a picture is the sun. When I try to take a picture of a sunrise or sunset, the results are usually less than spectacular. Usually, there are sunspots or reflections in the picture. But who doesn't love a great sun photo? To grab the image, I try to make it interesting by taking the picture at a different angle or placing myself in front of the sun. You can also try positioning your phone at different angles, up or down, not necessarily facing straight forward. You'll be surprised at how tipping your phone will give you a whole different perspective!
Capturing the sunrise through the clouds has made for some really interesting photos! And you don't get that pesky glare. I did use a filter on both of these photos to make the clouds more interesting.
A problem with shooting into the sun is that it can make the subject of the picture appear dark. Here's a picture I took at the pond. My goal was to capture the light reflection on the water, but you can only see my silhouette. No worries, though!
Here's the picture after I applied a filter. I'm still dark, but with the use of the filter, I enhanced the sun and the rays and made an interesting picture. I also cropped the picture to make it more Instagram friendly.
After some creative editing where I enhanced the clouds and the sun, and lightened up the subject (me). I cropped it but I didn't edit out the grass. My bad.
I use filters a lot. My favorite filter is Snapseed, which is a free download from the app store or Google play. Other people like to use VSCO. Instagram has a pretty good filter if you don't want to get too detailed. There are a lot of others as well. I've tried quite a few. Some allow you to add captions and make collages. Choose the filter that gives you what you are looking for. Some are more user friendly than others.
A couple of comments about the use of filters:
- Using Snapseed and other filters will lessen the quality of your picture. The pictures do appear more grainy. This filter is meant to be used for smaller pictures, like those you post on Instagram.
- A little editing goes a long way. Don't sacrifice the quality of your picture for special effects. Look at your work with a critical eye. Is your edited version something that's pleasing to your eye? Are you getting the effect that you want? Sometimes I take what I think will be a great picture but I can't get it to look how I want. I play with my pictures a lot. Sometimes they end up being deleted.
- Don't get all hung up on getting the perfect photo. Look at the title photo above. I was trying to get into half moon pose but really just didn't have it in me that morning. But with the fog and the sun behind me and my bright clothes in juxtaposition with the gloom (there's that word again!), this turned out to be a pretty cool picture. I used some editing to bring out the light from the sun and my clothes.
When you set up your picture, try to envision how you want the sun to be positioned. Remember, you can use the filters to enhance things, so don't sweat the details. The more you practice, the better you will get at finding the right angle, the right shot. Contrary to what people think, I don't own a selfie stick. I use whatever is handy. There's a lamppost in one of the parks I run through and I take a lot of pictures using that. Sometimes I use a water bottle to prop up my phone! I don't often ask people to take a picture of me because they don't get the shot I'm looking for. Crazy, right?
|Here I wanted the sun to be positioned between my hands. I love the reflection of the sun on the water behind me. This is one of my favorite pictures.|
By offsetting the sun or the subject, you can make the shot more interesting! Most of the time I'll set up my phone and make sure I have the angle I want before I set the timer and jump in for the picture.
|This one was taken on my was to work as well. I had to stop. Look at that sunrise! But I didn't take it directly at the sun, instead choosing to focus on my pose. There is the moon above me as well.|
|You may have seen this one from earlier this summer. I loved the reflection of the sun through the tree. I asked my son to take this one of me. I could have done a better job of editing, tho--it's a little tilted!|
And sometimes, you can get the sun just the way you intended. Big, hot, and radiant! I had a tough run and when I stopped to catch my breath, I saw exactly why it was so hard! Hello summer sun!
Don't be afraid to step outside the comfort zone of the traditional running selfies! Practice taking more creative photos. Even a picture that you might think looks bad may be a winner with a little creative editing! I will honestly say that the Instagram accounts I go back to time and time again are the ones with really fun, creative photos. Pictures of your Garmin just don't do it for me--I'm sorry to admit this. I'll share more tips on future posts. But for now, let's all enjoy the sun as the daylight hours begin to dwindle! Show me what you've got!
Do you follow me on Instagram? I'll follow you back! http://instagram.com/wendyistakingthelongwayhome
What photo editing tips do you want to share? What's your favorite editing app?
I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word is radiant!