Its always been a "NO NO" when it comes to photographing towards the sun, but i honestly really like the effect of taking such images, creating the silutes and creatinga very drastic contrast between the ground and the sky. The other day i realised that taking pictures of the sun att bigger appretures (f/5.6 for exampel) tha the sun came out like a round ball, rather dull, like in the image below:
Then i decided to go for a smaller appreture (f/22 for exampel) and i realised that the sun had had become much more intresting then it was in the previous photograhp, it obtained a star like shape which added alot to the feeling of the image. Here is an exampel (note that the exampel picture isnt great and there seems to be some dust and whot not on the lens but it illustrates what i was walking about)
note the lens flare, which can easily be avodided by using a hood or simpley by covernig the lens with your hand (to a certain extent this might work)
EDIT: might be worthwhile mentioning that this will apply to an stronger light source.