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How best to shoot in BRIGHT sunlight?


JackAllTog Plus
9 5.1k 58 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2018 9:20AM
I love bright days like this, however shooting with such harsh shadows has challenges.
Do you have any tips to make use of the extremely bright sunshine or the contrast with the hard shadows?

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Philh04 Plus
12 1.7k United Kingdom
26 Jun 2018 9:49AM
Me, I tend to work early mornings, or early to mid evening, the sun light is a bit softer then due to travelling through more atmosphere (it also a little cooler). Twilight shooting is also good.

If you simply cannot avoid the ravages of harsh light and shadows then try to use them as part of the composition, maybe even look to black and white conversions to make use of the contrast.

Depending on what you are shooting you may be able to get detail in the shadows by combining exposures or even use a tiny pop of flash (2 stops, or even less, under ambient should be fine, you don't want it to start adding its own shadows).
Dave_Canon 12 1.4k United Kingdom
26 Jun 2018 9:53AM
Bright sunshine is not ideal for most subjects though I find that it is OK for many landscapes. If you have a high dynamic range camera and Raw, there is scope for adjusting the contrast to suit. For people pictures, bright sunlight is awful and should be avoided. I was out shooting on Saturday but most of the time, it was hazy sun which was OK. On the occasions we had almost full sun, we took all photos in a shadow area. My colleagues also used flash kit and reflectors to create the light they needed; I did not to save weight. Just seen the above comment and agree it is often an opportunity for B&W.


Dave
JJGEE 13 7.2k 18 England
26 Jun 2018 9:59AM

Quote:maybe even look to black and white conversions

That appears to be a good idea, may take a little longer " seeing " suitable subjects / compositions but worth considering.
Chris_L Plus
4 4.7k United Kingdom
26 Jun 2018 4:40PM
I hate it too.

I sometimes do black and white and you can get compositions that don't work without the strong contrast and the black shade.

Sometimes I get into a bit of shade among trees. If there are some clouds floating above I will patiently wait for them to modify the sun before taking the shot I've got lined up.

Watersports photograph quite well, the water can act like a giant reflector that fills in otherwise dark faces and the fast shutter speeds which are possible with such bright light freeze the spray of water as well as the action.

Took these at the weekend, without the trees it would have been much harder

250184_1530027559.jpg



250184_1530027487.jpg

Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
26 Jun 2018 5:50PM
The good old Shadow/Highlights PS tool is much used after shooting in bright sunlight! Tongue

Always shoot in RAW, of course.

But you've got to be careful not to overdo the tool otherwise the images can end up looking weirdly flat and unnatural.
26 Jun 2018 9:33PM
Get a film camera and load it with Ilford PanF...
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
26 Jun 2018 10:13PM

Quote:I love bright days like this, however shooting with such harsh shadows has challenges.
Do you have any tips to make use of the extremely bright sunshine or the contrast with the hard shadows?



Go with what you have and use it to your advantage, or move elsewhere and look for somewhere close by that is out of direct sunlight, if you can mix in flash and reflectors or find natural reflectors, brick walls, sand dunes, water etc.

Here`s a pretty old example.




Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
26 Jun 2018 10:29PM
Lol I should have said, just look for open shade.
daniel66 2 48 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2018 10:11AM

Quote:I sometimes do black and white and you can get compositions that don't work without the strong contrast and the black shade.


Yes, well observed. Cartier-Bresson used it to his advantage on numerous occasions.

http://petapixel.com/assets/uploads/2013/05/Henri-Cartier-Bresson-Shadow-007.jpg

https://www.ipoxstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bresson.jpg
Chris_L Plus
4 4.7k United Kingdom
28 Jun 2018 10:53AM
good examples, am struggling to get motivated at the minute
JackAllTog Plus
9 5.1k 58 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2018 2:31PM
I never knew he did such street photo's thanks for sharing ideas. Smile
I wish i knew more about famous photographers.
Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
28 Jun 2018 6:17PM

Quote:
Quote:I sometimes do black and white and you can get compositions that don't work without the strong contrast and the black shade.


Yes, well observed. Cartier-Bresson used it to his advantage on numerous occasions.

http://petapixel.com/assets/uploads/2013/05/Henri-Cartier-Bresson-Shadow-007.jpg

https://www.ipoxstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Bresson.jpg



Yes but not quite in the same way, SP`s more about playing with light and shadow.






Much depends on the type of photography you are doing.

Lighting like this might not be best suited for a portrait or a wedding Smile

599_1530206521.jpg



599_1530206531.jpg



Paul Morgan 17 19.1k 6 England
29 Jun 2018 12:44AM
Here`s two more example.

Working with what you have, lots of high contrast etc.

And taming what you have using open shade.






30 Jun 2018 3:24AM
Either I missed it or it was not mentioned, but a simple strategy is to always remember to never shoot into the sun. Best to shoot parallel to sun or at your back. Have you thought about filters at all? Polarizing, ND, and some of the color filters work for a variety of bight sun situations. Good shooting.Grin

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