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Photography Question 
Choo Choo Love
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2004
 

How to shoot sunset scenes without sun spot


 
 
I just snapped this sunset photo and noticed that a sun spot disc appears on the lower left of the photo. I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT and as far as I remember, I took this photo using FULL AUTO feature. I didn't set the exposure, etc. I'm a fairly new hobbyist and don't understand the technical details so usually use either the FULL AUTO or BASIC ZONE modes. Can you please give me some advice on taking sunset photos? I notice sun spots on my sunrise photos as well but the spots are round and blurry, not a sharp disc like this one.


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8/14/2005 6:10:40 PM

 
Choo Choo Love
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2004
 
 
 
Sorry, it's me again (Choo). I was unable to upload my sunset photo but here it is now. Thanks for your patience and thanks for taking the time to read my message and respond to my problem.


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8/14/2005 6:20:45 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Choo,
You need to do the full sign-in with email & password in order to attach photos to a discussion.

Sunspots like you're describing happen fairly often when you aim your lens toward the sun. I think it has to do with the light reflecting off of internal elements in the lens. Some lenses have coatings that will minimize this. I don't thing using a polarizer or other filters will help.

The shape of the circles, whether they are soft or blurry, or circles or octagons, depends on whether you are using a large or small aperture. You won't have control over the aperture in Auto mode.

Sometimes you can avoid the spots if you offset the sun in your frame, instead of centering it.

Anyone have some more ideas?


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8/14/2005 6:24:01 PM

 
C Thompson   I too have this problem with my camera (Camedia C750) Using a polarizer makes no difference nor does the angle I shoot from. I would Also love to know how to avoid this....Have wasted much time (thank goodness, not film) and missed beautiful sunsets due to this. It is very frustrating.


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8/14/2005 7:24:43 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Sorry Choo, I guess you got the image uploaded while I was typing. I bet Jon or Michael could offer some insight.


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8/14/2005 7:35:12 PM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Ditto what others have said. More common with zooms, since they have many more lens elements and reflective surfaces. Good prime lenses are less susceptible, but not immune. The single little hotspot looks like it might even be due to the digital sensor's microlens.

You can remove it digitally, or leave it, or even "enhance it." Many people consider the ghosting reflections of the aperture to be an artistic effect, and add it digitally to photos that don't have it.


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8/14/2005 8:20:28 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey choo, once in a while i'll get lens flare,but no spots or ghosting.that has to be some digital thing.i shoot film.if your using auto focus, focus on a medium to slightly mundane cloud away from the sun.it helps to compensate for all the contrast in the scene.of course like jon and chris said it might be your lense.but focus on, not the sun?meters don't have brains,and I consider myself a meter?
try again,sam


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8/14/2005 8:43:30 PM

 
Choo Choo Love
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2004
 
 
 
Thank you very much, Chris, C Thompson, Jon and Sam for taking the time to help me out.

Jon: You mentioned enhancing it. How would I be able to do that? I use Picasa for my photo editing and of course, I have the Canon ZoomBrowser photo software to further edit my photos.

Thanks, Sam, for the tip on focusing on the cloud rather than the sun. I'll try again.

Chris: I think I know how to change the aperture, by using AV rather than Auto mode, right? How small an AV should I go to? I'd like to give that a try.

I'm attaching another sunset photo taken just a couple minutes later. There's no sunspot or ghosting on this one. Just wondered what you guys think about it.

Another question is:

Sometimes when I try to take a photo, the flash crackles. I feel like there's lightning and often I can't take the photo no matter how hard I press the shutter. Anyone have any experience like that and anyone know why that happens?

Thank you once again, everyone! You guys are really, really cool.

Choo


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8/15/2005 2:21:56 PM

 
Choo Choo Love
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2004
 
 
 
Sorry, once again I got lost trying to upload.


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8/15/2005 2:25:01 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey choo,that's much better,looks like a great location.always hang around after the sun goes down and wait for the sun to shine up under the clouds.that's when you'll get those great colors.
turn off your flash in those sunset pictures.in low light if your camera can't confirm focus,it won't release the shutter.i am not sure on your camera if you can overide it.
hth,sam


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8/15/2005 3:16:51 PM

 
Choo Choo Love
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2004
  Thanks, Sam. I'll try again both when the sun is about to set and after it's set, like in the second photo. I took a look at your gallery and WOW! You've got to be the sunset and sunrise expert! How do you ever take such fantastic photos?


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8/15/2005 6:26:27 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Choo,
The flash crackling like lightning is the AutoFocus assist. If the flash is popped up when you're shooting a fairly dark scene, it will fire off several rapid blinks to help the lens focus.

Like Sam said, turn you flash off for pictures like this. Use a tripod if you need to. If you switch to Program mode, you'll still have full auto, but the flash won't pop up on its own. If your camera has trouble finding focus, switch to manual focus.

We've had a few very colorul sunsets lately, and I've been experimenting with some long tripod exposures.

Chris


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8/15/2005 7:02:42 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  oh choo,i got tears in my eyes reading your post, I got to laughing so hard I spit my beer out.hang on?
ok,i work outside most of the time,late,and early,i have seen thousands of sunrises and sunsets.i pretty much know the weather,storms,lightning.
always use a tripod and remote release,just get used to doing it.
expert my a??
on the other hand choo,i accept your compliment with honor[of course while still chuckling]and I am still laughing,thank you.
be there early and stay late,best chance for a nice picture.
chris are those the oasis photos?
take care,sam


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8/15/2005 8:56:48 PM

 
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