One of the first rules of photography that I learned as a child was to shoot with the sun behind your back. But what do you do when the scene you want to capture is into the sun? Well, it’s time to break the rule.
It happened last week while out photographing the harvest at Bodega Remelluri on the border between La Rioja and the Basque Country. The vineyard sits beneath the sheer cliffs of the Sierra de Cantabria to the north. In every other direction there are spectacular views over the river Ebro valley, across a large chunk of La Rioja and to the distant mountains of Sierra de la Demanda.
And that scene was into the sun. I couldn’t wait for it to move as so too would have the pickers and with them the photo. So into the sun it is then. The trick is to decide the bit of the photo you want properly exposed and set the camera accordingly – in my case, that’s normally someone’s face. The background, being brighter, is at risk of burning out. However, so long as the bit that’s properly exposed holds the viewer’s attention and you can at least suggest the surroundings, the chances are the photo will work. Fingers crossed.