One of the most common vacation and trip photographs taken by you may be during the mid-day period with the sun over head or at acute angle. This result in photographs that are either over exposed, your friends and family members are shading their eyes with hands or worst squinting. This article illustrates simple ways in which to achieve good photographs even during the mid-day period.
Some of the practical ways to overcome the difficulties and challenges have been illustrated below:
Shooting in Shade
It is not necessary to shoot directly in sunlight, find some shade nearby. Maybe, there are some trees, a shack or a a nearby restaurant, that will provide some shade. Irrespective of whom you are shooting, they will be more comfortable in shade, out of the sun glare and in lower temperatures.
You will have to keep in mind the direction from which the sunlight is falling on your subjects, are there excessive shadows below the eyes? Is the area under the chin completely dark? Feel free to use either the in-built flash or dedicated external flash unit mounted on the hot-show of the camera.
Another trick is to use reflectors to reflect the sunlight to shadow area. Use can use white cloth, plastic sheet or thermocol sheets. Irrespective of your choice, the aim is to avoid dark shadows on subjects face.
Extra care must be taken when shooting below trees. With wind continuously shaking and moving the branches, the sun light that falls on your subjects will keen on varying. In case, you are looking to achieve an artistic look, the subjects will invariably have checkered light formations on them.
When you are engaged in professional photography, it will be value for money, if you invest in a set of diffusers. Diffusers, as the name implies, diffuse the sunlight, so that there are no harsh shadows on the model or subject. Depending on your project requirements and budgets, you have today a wide range of commercially available diffusers in the market.
If you are a startup or amateur photographers, you can always experiment with home-made diffusers. You can easily make diffuser by stitching a pure white cloth or bed sheet over a metal or wooden frame. You will of course, require assistance of some friend to hold the diffuser between the sun and your subject.
The best diffuser is provided FREE by nature: clouds. One of the best photographs has been taken by professional photographers in overcast or cloudy conditions. But, then having a opportunity to shoot under ideal conditions, is just not everyone luck.
Yes, you can and use light to overcome the shadows cast by the sun. Depending on the Sun’s position, you can use dedicated flash/s lights to create the required effect. Always use the flash with diffuser that is mounted on the flash unit. This results in pleasing photograph with soft tones and no hard shadows. This technique, can be used when your subject’s back is towards the sun, not always 100% but sometimes at an pleasing angle, will also do the trick.
The aim of a good photographer is to ensure photographs that are as perfect as possible and eliminate the unpleasant effects caused by shooting during mid-day, when there is no other option. Feel free to experiment with the tricks given in this article as well as your own. You can always come up with your own unique style and create some masterpieces.