As it's the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (and the UK has seen some sun at last), I thought I'd revisit one of my posts from my photography tips series and update one of the most popular. Taking photos in strong sunlight can cause all sorts of problems for any photographer - not least a (fashion) blogger. Here are 8 tips for getting the best results when shooting on sunny days!
LIGHT IS THE KEY TO TAKING BETTER PHOTOS. THE MORE LIGHT YOU HAVE, THE HIGHER THE QUALITY OF YOUR PICTURES BECAUSE CAMERAS RESPOND BETTER TO AND LIKE A LOT LIGHT.
Light is the key to taking better photos. The more light you have, the higher the quality of your pictures because cameras respond better to and like a lot light.
Think of it this way: The more light there is travelling through the camera's lens and shutter, the more information the 'film' has to interpret. The more information on the image - the sharper and more detailed the photos.
You can break down outdoor lighting conditions into three very basic groups: Cloud, rain and sun.
- CLOUDY is straightforward - your light will be evenly diffused wherever you shoot, so you're not really restricted in any way unless it's extremely dark due to extra heavy cloud cover.
- RAINING is obviously tough but there are ways round it - read my tips for photographing in the rain here.
- SUNSHINE means you've actually got a lot of different choices - so read on for the low-down!
PLEASE NOTE: Do not, under any circumstances, look directly at the sun either through the lens or otherwise if shooting into the sun. Safety first, folks.
How to work with strong, daytime sunlight
Although it's a camera's dream to have lots of sunshine, it can be a photographer's nightmare. Too much light and/or the wrong time of day can cause lighting headaches and you can easily end up with unflattering results - it can cast high contrast shadows on your face and outfit and makes you squint as well as bleaching the image. Strong, direct sun should ideally be avoided at all costs, but you can work with it in many cases.
1. AVOID SQUINTING BY WEARING SUNGLASSES
This is the easiest way to cope with bright sunshine - I'm a bit of a squinter so even in winter I'm often in sunglasses. If the sun is blinding your eyes they really are a necessity. Remember readers like to see blogger's faces so try not to wear them in every outfit post if you can help it.
My trusty go-to black cat eye sunglasses (above) are always in my handbag so that I have them if we do an impromptu photo shoot and it's super sunny.
2. STAND IN SOME SHADE
Make sure it's not dappled light or it will cause havoc with the photo's exposure. If the sun is strong there will still be enough light (remember the sun is four quadrillion times brighter than a 100W light bulb). Here are two examples where you can see the strong sunshine in the background but the shade was far softer and more flattering: