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Old August 3rd, 2006, 11:54 PM   #1
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Sun safety

To avoid potential disasters, it might be a good idea to agree upon what's safe for shooting the sun. I've read a lot of mixed opinions, but the following points usually don't receive any dispute:

- never let your viewfinder point directly at the sun (very similar to frying ants with a magnifying glass)
- shutter speed doesn't affect how much light hits your CCDs
- iris does, so close it down if you can
- use ND filters if you have them
- it is okay to look through the viewfinder when shooting the sun, UNLESS it's optical (which I'm assuming nobody will be using)

I've heard some people say that a pan is safer than a static shot, which sounds like it makes sense but I don't know for sure. I'd also imagine that a UV filter would do some good, too.

I haven't really done any sun shooting but all this info can be found right here on DVinfo and other camera forums.

If any of my info is incorrect or you have more tips, let me know and I'll add them to the list.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 07:31 AM   #2
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Don't forget the Sunscreen.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 07:52 AM   #3
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And NEVER look directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Such things as regular sunglasses DON'T cut it...you could permanently blind yourself.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #4
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NOTE:
From an Engineering perspective, and I am one, shooting the sun itself is dangerous to the life expectancy of any imaging device. Even though you may have been told it is OK and that CCD imagers will not be damaged by the light level, be aware that you are focusing the heat as well on a small area inside a delicate electronic device. Remember the magnifying glass and the ants?

Above, Marks suggestion about panning across the sun makes sense in that you are not heating up one small section of your chips for an extended period that way.

Yes, you can damage your imagers in your cameras if you let them sit pointed at the sun for an extended period of time. Also be aware that yes, unless you have an optical viewfinder such as a spotting scope or telescope type device, the pointing and looking directly at the sun for even a fraction of a second without proper ND filtering can permenantly damage your retina and other eye tissues.

Just use common sense. We have all shot footage of the sun and the cameras are fine. Just don't let them sit on that noon day sun for an hour and you should be good.

As a side note, as a kid, I was looking through a friends fathers telescope one day without proper supervision and while looking for birds I swept past the sun. Instantly all the moisture in that eye vaporized. I was lucky I was just sweeping past it.

See you on - the Sunny side of the street.

Sean
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Old August 4th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #5
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Other sun shooting advice.

When shooting outside, bring:
Sunscreen
Shelter
4 times more water than you think you need.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info guys! I'll keep it in mind.

PS: I can't wait to see how all of your guy's videos turn out!

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Old August 5th, 2006, 01:16 PM   #7
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Staring into the sun for an extended period of time has been known to generate superintelligence. Haven't you guys seen Pi?
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Old August 5th, 2006, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper
Other sun shooting advice.

When shooting outside, bring:
Sunscreen
Shelter
4 times more water than you think you need.
Shiner Bock also helps. :-)

-gb-
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Old August 5th, 2006, 05:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Utley
I'd also imagine that a UV filter would do some good, too.
Principal part of the spectrum that damages sensors / eyes etc is the infra-red radiation, not UV wavelengths. So in this instance, a UV filter definitely will not help prevent damage.

regards
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Old August 6th, 2006, 08:49 AM   #10
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keep your people safe too

I've been shooting cut aways this morning and already it's HOT HOT HOT. So I was using an umbrella to keep the sun off the camera and then realized that my feet were getting sun burned. Oops.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #11
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Sounds like you need to make, and possibly market, parasols for shoes.

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Old August 9th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harris Porter
Staring into the sun for an extended period of time has been known to generate superintelligence. Haven't you guys seen Pi?
I don't remember that bit....... i remember...

"When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal. I was terrified, alone in that darkness. Slowly daylight crept in through the bandages, and I could see, but something else had changed inside of me. That day I had my first headache. "

I have headaches... so does that mean i have super intelligence?

Oh and..... Rental Cameras for shots of the sun are a good choice :)
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Old August 9th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harris Porter
Staring into the sun for an extended period of time has been known to generate superintelligence.
Harry Caray: Hey! Let me ask, what's your favorite planet?
Jeff Goldblum: Well... I, uh, don't have a favorite. I find them all fascinating. They're all part of a ...
Harry Caray: [interrupting] Mine's the sun. Always has been. I like it because it's like, the King of Planets.
Jeff Goldblum: Well, actually Harry, it's not a planet. It's a star.
Harry Caray: Well, planet or star, when that thing burns out, we're all gonna be dead.
Jeff Goldblum: Well, that's true. But it's not gonna burn out for a very long time.
Harry Caray: [crossing fingers] I hope not. [pause] Hey! Doctor, have you ever seen an eclipse?
Jeff Goldblum: Uh, yeah, I've seen many.
Harry Caray: You know, if you stare at it head on, it'll burn your eyes out.
Jeff Goldblum: [breaking character and smiling] Well, it's best not to stare at the sun during an eclipse.
Harry Caray: But it's hard not to. I once took a pair of binoculars and stared at the sun for over an hour.
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