The Pinch

In Tips and Tricksby Patrick

I am asked a lot what I do when I have bald skies. Not a cloud in sight, which really sucks, but does happen. So what to do photographically to add interest to the photograph? Enter, the “pinch”. This is a technique that I was taught from a well known photographer at a workshop and I thought I would pass it along. It came into play this past week when out shooting fall color. I had a gorgeous sunny day with beautiful blue skies, but no clouds. The pinch is simply getting starburst of the sun.

To do this, close down the lens. Anything f/16 and above will really work. I had my lens at f/22 for this shot. Place the sun behind something so it is blocked. Then simply move until the sun “pinches” out from behind whatever you used to block the sun. The combination of the small aperture and just allowing the sun to peak out from behind is the key. This will create the starburst and add a unique visual element to your photograph. Try this when you are out and about shooting bald skies next time.

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