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07-30-2012, 02:41 AM   #16
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Thank you so much for all your very insightful and helpful responses, esp to Gareth for your detailed instructions

OK, having thought about this a bit, I finally see that this project does sound really difficult! However, I feel I have learnt quite a bit just from reading your answers and think through things like focal lengths and lighting and distance.

At least I think I now have a good idea on how to go about it. I guess the equipment is the easy part. The difficult thing is to scour out a location (I live in Sydney, Australia) where this is possible at all, i.e. somewhere with a direct line of sight to the subjects (us) and the rising sun and the horizon that is something like 3km away...

And oh, we are happy to have our silhouettes taken, so no need to expose us properly

So yeah, I'll check out google maps or something to see if such a place within our range exists.

07-31-2012, 01:12 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gareth.Ig Quote
- You probably want a very dark ND filter or stack of ND filters on the front of the lens, but I would let others comment on this, I've never attempted taking a telephoto picture of the sun. At the very least your shutter guy will need to be able to look through the viewfinder.
- some means for the shutter guy and yourself to communicate
- the photographers ephemeris - provides sunset times and places sunset line of sight on google maps, so you can plan locations.

Things to assume:
- your not going to get a crisp image - I think the technical term is diffraction, but not certain. I imagine that the amount of light from the sun will result in a fairly fuzzy outline of you and your wife. I could be wrong and would welcome someone to contradict me. I suspect the use of the ND filters may help in this regard.
- you are shooting for effect not image quality, and as such getting high end equipment may not be warranted (e.g. get a cheap Chinese ND filter and don't worry about colour casts
- you may need to crop your image to get the effect you are looking for
Gareth, you are basically quite right with your suggestion, but I would like to add some comments out of experience:

- ND filters: This shot is only possible at sunset or sunrise. At that time the Sun will be at the horizon and thus is by far not as bright as even a couple of degrees above the horizon. How bright it will be is hard to predict, as this is completely dependent on the actual atmospheric conditions. Anyway, it should be enough to stop down the lens to f/16 and you won't need any ND filter in place. If the atmosphere is really humid, you may even open your aperture to f/8 or so to keep the exposure time as short as possible. I never had a problem looking through the viewfinder and focusing, when the Sun was that low.
- Diffraction: That is indeed not the problem. How sharp the image turns out is quite dependent on the atmospheric condtions again (astronomers call that "seeing"). But if the camera is within 100 meters of the couple, it shouldn't be too bad, especially at sea level and at the shore, as the humid air is usually less turbulent than the air over rocky or built-up areas. The outline of the Sun, will be distorted, though - which adds some interest to the image.

07-31-2012, 07:53 PM   #18
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Here's one of my favorite shots. While not quite what your thinking this one was done at 260mm with my 55-300mm zoom. It might help you with perspective.


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