Pleasant Valley (CA), Old Gas Station Panes, Gas Pump, Light

ISO100, 35mm, f/20, 1.0 sec
El Dorado County, CA

It is too hot to shoot outside right now.  Maybe if I were in the desert shooting landscapes or some model shoot it would be a different story.  At least I have photographs from this past Monday to work on while I have the air conditioning cranking and my dog is happily curled up in his bed sleeping.

(Click through the image for the 700px view)

One of the goals here was to produce a sun star, which by itself is not that difficult of a task.  In general, nothing obscuring the sun, a wide angle lens (and if you have a 18-55mm type zoom, using the lower half of the zoom such as the 18-35mm range would do), aperture at f/18 or f/20, and spot metering at something other than the sun.  Boom, you’re done.  This process becomes a bit tricker when shooting through glass and in this case two panes of glass as the sunlight is now passing through the glass and the dirt on the glass in a filtering effect.  Even trying some variations on the above formula, it never truly formed a sun star.

As for why I use spot metering on anything but the sun?  The interior of the gas station was dark.  If I metered off the sun, the sun would be metered correctly which would result in the interior being very dark and the sun looking more like a bright orb with no rays extending from it.  Perhaps evaluative/matrix metering works also, but it’s just easier for me to use spot as matrix metering tends to result in underexposed elements on everything but the sun.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 35mm, f/20, 1.0 sec

Pleasant Valley (CA), Old Gas Station Panes, Gas Pump, Light. Pleasant Valley, California. June 03, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

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