Shooting into the sun can produce some very dramatic effects and present some difficult exposures for you. I use the sun as a design element, which plays an important part in the overall composition of the image.
An exposure from an image like the one shown above would most likely be something like, 1/250th @ f/22.0 at ISO 100. I really like getting that star effect off the sun, the only way to get this effect is to use a steep or deep aperture like f/22.0, f/16.0, or f/11.0. The steep or deeper the f-stop, the more the star effect.
The EXIF data on this image says that I shot this photo at 1/160th @ f/22.0. I used an SB-800 to lite my subject, and the flash way just outside of the frame of the image. If I am not mistaken, I think the flash was set to about 1/2 or 1/4 + 2/3. The flash had no modifier on it so it was a direct flash.
In the image above, my assistant John was on an adjacent tank on top with an SB-800. I used a Radio Popper to trigger the flash as I was not in line of sight of the flash. Often when shooting is strong sunlight, the CLS system falls short and a third party system is called for.
In the above photo, I had John stand next to me with a monopod extended in the air above the bent pipe with an SB-800 on it. From this position, I was able to use the Nikon CLS system to trigger my strobes.
I'm leaving for Europe today, I'll be giving 4 workshops in Austria and I also have a speaking engagement in Vienna for Nikon. I'm looking forward to this trip and I will try to post while on the road. Good shooting. DT