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High Noon


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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High Noon

13 Jul 2020 8:20AM   Views : 341 Unique : 237


As you become a more expert photographer, you replace putting the sun above your left shoulder with seeking out the Golden Hour near sunrise and sunset, and the Blue Hour that precedes (or follows) it. If you specialise in portraits or glamour or nudes, not to mention landscapes, you learn to avoid the midday sun.

But it can be a time to be out, and not only for mad dogs and Englishmen. I realised (again) just how important it is to break the rules when I saw Mark Seawell’s beautiful image of a canyon near Cedar City in Utah, USA. I’ll put the link at the bottom: somehow, it seems to be very difficult to post links in a blog.


The depth of the canyon has turned fierce sunlight into a delicate and gentle spotlight, bringing out delicate colours. Most of us have seen similar images from Antelope Canyon – one of the places I plan not to visit, because my pictures wouldn’t match the existing ones, and there are too many people increasing their carbon footprints to get there already. And it’s the right time to catch the sun shining down through the treetops, too.

With portraits, it can be difficult, but if your subject is wearing shades, it can produce a really dramatic look: there's a lovely recent example (though shot much later in the day) in the Critique Gallery, from AM74. Alternatively, you can go for a deliberately uncomfortable look, with your subject squinting and screwing up their eyes.

Monochrome conversions can make the most of graphic shadows and highlights: see the difference this makes to the otherwise-mundane image of a plant pot shadow and a hose on brickwork.


For art nude, and occasionally for glamour, you can do similar things – make the most of a sunsoaked body, and take an oblique approach to the face – maybe go slightly surreal and cover the face with a big floppy hat… And a shot using shadows across a torso or limbs can make everything disappear behind the shapes and form: a bodyscape need not expose anything requiring an over-18 tag.

On the sunny days (you may suffer weather in England, or actually have a reliable climate, where sunshine is guaranteed), go out and give it a try. Look for spectacular shadows next to objects you wouldn’t look at twice in the normal course of things. And when you’re processing, go for monochrome, possibly with toning, and high contrast! You can do this in Nik Efex or other plugins, for a big range of preset looks, or in an ordinary editor like Photoshop.


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
13 Jul 2020 8:23AM
You can see Mark's lovely canyonscape HERE and Annie's bright sun and shades portrait HERE - there are some excellent pictures in the Critique Gallery, so it's worth a regular look-in.
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
13 Jul 2020 9:28AM
Bright mid day sunshine, whilst lovely and warm creates havoc with my stuff...highlights !!!! !!!...metal !!! white petals !!!
Diffusion is the way forward Wink
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
13 Jul 2020 10:17AM
Horses for courses...

And with horses, maybe those closeups showing the blood vessels in the neck, crosslit by high sun?
Irishkate Avatar
Irishkate Plus
13 45 123 United Kingdom
13 Jul 2020 11:53AM
Good to learn how to take advantage of the midday sun, as that's when we're all out there!
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
13 Jul 2020 6:35PM
It's a tactic that works some of the time: but landscapes are best when the light's right - and that is near dusk and dawn more often than not. Look for Mam Tor in the main gallery, and see how many midday shots there are of that lovely place in the noonday sun...
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 36 8 England
13 Jul 2020 6:40PM
Shade, shadows, filters, and/or a big floppy hat. Like the ones the donkeys in Lindos wear 😄.Failing all that a prism or a bottle of soapy water and some bubbles.😱😂😂. Never give up, never surrender (galaxy quest).

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