Week 19: Stop sunflare with your hat

Here's the problem in a nutshell. Shoot into the sun and your image will have sunflare and it will be washed out. Sometimes you want that, other times you really want the jewel colours to shine through.

stop sunflare before and after social.jpg

You can tell if sunflare will show on your image by looking at your lens. If you can see reflections of the sun on the glass, you will get sunflare:

stop sunflare 1a.jpg

I was shooting here at 7.30am in August, with the sun coming right into the camera. That big old lens hood isn't helping - it only works if the sun is a bit higher, or to one side. 

All you need to do is use your hand, a hat, an umbrella - anything to basically extend the lens hood shadow so it falls across the glass until you can't see the sun reflections any more:

stop sunflare 2a.jpg

2 critical things:

1. Make sure you're not touching the camera, otherwise you risk camera shake.

2. Make sure you can't see the improvised lens hood in the frame. It needs to be held high enough to avoid this:


Use the self timer if you need a couple of seconds to run in front of the camera and get in position.

Here's the before and after, side by side. The only difference is that I cast a shadow onto the lens with my hat:

And in case you need a reminder about why you should be shooting into the sun at 7.30 on an August morning, here is the same bed shot at the same time, but with the sun behind me:


If you want help shooting off auto, using light effectively, and composing for strong images, try my free online photography workshop. Register here and get started today:

This post is one in a series about fine art flower photography. If you enjoyed it, you might like the others too: