November 10, 2013
Shooting straight into the sun, high contrast scenes is always problematic for digital cameras, no matter how good the camera is. The sun and its immediate surrounds are simply too bright for the sensor to record and that massive overload of light can bleed into surrounding pixels on the sensor. This shows up as a large area of pure white surrounded by a harsh transition into more normal sky tones.
November 7, 2013
Nothing draws your eye to a subject like limited Depth of Field. Using a lens wide open, especially a telephoto lens, tends to throw backgrounds out of focus, making the sharp subject stand out very clearly. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as this shot of a snuff bottle in Mongolia but your eye is strongly attracted to areas of high contrast, so having a sharp subject against a lower contrast background adds the illusion of depth.