Tips & Tricks
Choosing the Best Time and Place for Photographing The Sun
Shooting sunsets and sunrises can be some of the most refreshing experiences in your life. Pick and choose your location beforehand and have an idea as to how the horizon lights up during the magic hours and set up accordingly for the shoot. A much more exciting photo session could be shooting during an eclipse.
Switch to Manual Focus and Metering Modes
Digital cameras are not built to take direct shots of highly luminous objects, so pointing your camera at the sun is going to drive the internal focussing and light metering systems crazy! It's better switch to manual focussing and metering. As any photographer would tell you, try to keep the ISO as low as possible to obtain clear and noise-free images.
Choosing a Proper Lens for Sun Photography
Since the sun is a highly luminous object getting details from the object could be a tad difficult with standard lenses. Telephoto lenses have the characteristic of compressing details in the frame that they focus and therefore are more suitable for photographing the sun. Telephoto zooms would be able to trace out the shape of the sun as well subtle details which other normal lenses cannot. Always remember to have adequate protection on your lens!
If you are shooting for scientific purposes, a telescope or a monocular that can be connected with your camera will give you highly detailed images compared to that of a regular camera lens.
No matter how well protected your equipment and your eyes are it's never a good idea to concentrate on the sun for extended time periods. If you are not getting the shot you want, take a break - your eyes need it and the equipment as well (there may be a slight heating effect), come back and try again. Try shooting in burst mode too, you might end up with a better image in a sequence.