We often say that it’s best to avoid shooting in harsh midday sunlight, but sometimes it’s unavoidable and your lunch-break may be the only time you have in your busy schedule to take a few shots. In their latest guest blog post the photo management and Canon Project1709 experts at Photoventure take a look at a few ways of working in harsh light.
1. Work with it
The most obvious way to shoot in harsh light is to work with it rather than against it.
This doesn’t mean plough on regardless, but to think about what the light is doing to your subject and use it.
At midday the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky, which means that although shadows will be very strong, they may also be quite short.
If you’re shooting a portrait in full sun you can expect to see deep, unattractive shadows under the eyebrows and nose.
However, if the model tips their head back and they look towards the sun these shadows will disappear.
The obvious problem with this is that the model’s eyes will immediately screw up against the harsh light if the try to keep them open, but this is one occasion when closed eyes looks natural.
We all like to turn our faces to the sun and close our eyes once in a while.
You should also consider heading to the nearest park or woodland because delicate leaves and petals look great back-lit and harsh, directional light brings out their structure and colour.
Meanwhile in the city there’s a great mix of deep shadow and strong highlights that can look very effective in black and white.
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