Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekly Header Challenge - The Sun

It's time for the Weekly Header Challenge!

"Headbanger" Participants

I'm joining in the group above for this weekly challenge.
Click on the other participants' blogs to see
what they've come up with!

Theme ~ The Sun

Chosen by me.

First, my thoughts behind the theme choice...  Since you really can't take pictures of the sun--with our DSLR cameras, anyway--I really wanted to share images that show the sun's effects.  Meaning--I can tell that the sun was shining, or I can see the sun's rays, or its effects on my subject.  And I found it a tad difficult to find good images.  Here are the ones I chose; first, my full header image:

This is my baby squash plant (it no longer looks this way; they grow quickly!).  The sun was behind it, illuminating the leaf's veins.  You can even see the shadow of the stem at about the 5:00 mark, if it were a clock.  I love how it looks like it's glowing.  Later this autumn, we will be glowing as we eat the yummy squash we'll get!

Another view of the sun on my squash.

These next two images are some of my favorites, as far as the sun is concerned.  They were taken at WIU at Jacob's college graduation; don't you love the lilacs' color and scent?  I do.  In this first image you can see some of the glow of the sun.  I decided I wanted a sun star, so I moved around until I could make that happen.

To get the defined rays--and I shoot on manual--set the f-stop number as high as you can on your camera.  This results in a very small aperture.  (Small aperture = high f-stop number.)  The small aperture, combined with a slower shutter speed, allows more light into the camera lens, and results in a sun star!  My shutter speed is 1/160 second in the below--slow enough to get a proper exposure on the flowers (any faster and they'd be in shadow).  And that's the technical how-to for sunstars!

I love the below, since it shows the sun's light more subtly on the flowers.  You can see the illumination, and how the sun rolls off the yellow petals  and into shadow.

Here's a bright, sunny day atop the tower that houses the Millenium Carillon in Naperville.  I caught a bird flying by, too!

The sun was not our friend for this late afternoon wedding.  It shone directly into our faces for the whole ceremony, and I'm sure the photographers were challenged to take good pictures of the bride and groom.  (It was a beautiful wedding, though!)

At said wedding, I tried to take a selfie as we waited to enter the reception hall.  We're too close to the lens to be in good focus, and the sun was shining in.  But it's cute nonetheless.  :)

Two more sun stars to brighten your day.  This first one is a building at the University of Illinois (Champaign/Urbana).

And my final sun star is within the tower that houses the Millenium Carillon.  Perfect time of day, sun shining through the building--rather cool!

Treasuring life's moments,

Visit my website
Stop by my family blog
Like me on Facebook


  1. Neat take on your theme Christine, a lot of fun photos.

  2. Thanks for the tech tip on defining sun stars. I can't wait to try it!

    1. You're welcome, Craver! Sun stars are the neatest thing to capture. I think one of the reasons is that it's something our human eye doesn't see, but we can get the effect with our cameras. Have fun experimenting!

  3. Love the sun stars! And a great collection of sunny images, but sitting through a wedding (or other event) with the sun in your eyes is tough.

    1. It was a tough ceremony to sit through, that's for sure, though it was worth it. :) It was a beautiful day weather-wise, too, which helped!

  4. Wonderful shot of the sun between buildings and flowers!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by to visit. :)

  5. Very Neat shots for the theme of SUN Christine.

    1. Thanks, Mac. I'm already pondering what to do for next week's interesting theme...!!