The Photographer’s Guide To Shooting Outside On Sunny Days

September 8, 2011 by  
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Photographing when the sun is shining brightly is more difficult than it seems. Lots of newer photography enthusiasts see the sunshine, and head outside with their digital cameras to make the most of the climate. Regrettably, their models generally end up overexposed, covered in shadows, or both. In some instances, they might be practically unidentifiable.

If you learn how to function with vibrant sunlight in your photos, you will find the sun a welcome digital photography instrument. Otherwise, plan to endure aggravation when you clean up your pictures in the editing room, and don’t plan on framing over exposed or blurry pictures or getting into poster printing.

}The good news is that you may learn how to control sunlight in ways that help you present your models in an organic and appealing way. Below, we’ll offer several tips for doing just that.

Photograph During The Beginning And End Of The Day

This may seem like an evasion of the problem, but is still strong advice. Whenever the sun lies immediately overhead, it’s going to throw light down on your point of consideration; this, in itself, is not bad. Some subjects look best when photographed in vibrant lighting as long as you  are able to control the shadows and exposure of your photo (we will address exposure below).

But many people look most appealing when shot with shadows splayed across one side of their bodies and faces. The dark areas introduce mood and tone. This can be very best achieved when the sunlight has not yet reached its peak, meaning taking pictures when it’s rising or setting.

Avoid Overexposure Of Your Photos

The sunshine can easily cause your model to appear too shiny. For example, if you are taking photos of individuals, they may appear “blown out”; the colors of their clothing and the tone of their skin may seem faded or washed out. This means your pictures are overexposed.

Learning how to manage the exposure of your pictures means understanding how aperture, ISO, and shutter speed interact. Having said that, you may generally keep your photographs from winding up overexposed by upping your camera’s shutter speed. Doing this can reduce the time the image sensor is exposed to lighting. On a vibrant, sun-drenched afternoon, adjust it to 1/1000 of a second or sooner.

Balance The Light With A Fill Flash

Using a flash on a sun-drenched afternoon may sound odd, but it may keep the sunlight from throwing shadows across your subject. A fill flash helps you to even out the distribution of lighting. For instance, assume your subject is wearing a cap, and the sun is casting a stark shadow over her face. Your image is likely to come out the wrong way. Utilizing a fill flash will make up for the shadow, filling in light where it is required to stabilize the photo.

An additional benefit of utilizing a fill flash is that its output makes the background appear somewhat more dark. This helps your subject appear more distinct. Many people are going to be not able to pinpoint the impact, but may still encounter it in your picture.
A lot of cameras will let you adjust the output of the fill flash. Take time to  try things out to decide which setting best accommodates the circumstances in which you’re shooting.

Utilizing A Reflecting Surface

If you don’t have a fill flash, you can steer clear of dark shadows by taking photos of your subject in the shade. You’ll need a lightly-colored surface area to mirror sunlight onto your model. Direct sunshine can be overpowering, but might be dampened by reflecting it from an additional surface. For example, have your model stand near a lightly-colored wall. Or, hold up a single sheet of white paper, and tilt it slightly so as to direct the lighting. 

You will observe that shooting outside on a sun-drenched day demands a little bit of improvisation. The sun’s rays can pose harsh effects. It can overexpose your photos, or cause dark shadows to splash across your model. Make use of the ideas above to generate photos that prevent both problems. 

 

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