Many of us are in the midst of summer right now which means that a lot of people are spending more time outdoors, in the bright sunshine. It’s the season for traveling, hanging out with friends and trying out some fun activities, all great opportunities for taking a photo or two. For many photographers, the best light to shoot in occurs around sunrise and sunset. I remember being told numerous times to avoid shooting in daytime sun. However, in the summertime, there are so many examples of when one would want to, or have to, shoot in the sun. So here are some photography tips for shooting in the sun which I hope will help no matter how bright it is outside.
Shade can definitely be your friend at times like these. For subjects that are easily moveable, like people and pets, try positioning them in a shady spot. This shade can be from a building or tree, or can be created by using an umbrella or even your own shadow. Creating your own shade also comes in handy with subjects that aren’t moveable, but are somewhat small. When shooting in the shade make sure to set your camera to read for the darker scene, or use an automatic option. You can also play around with certain shade, such as that coming through tree branches to create a more artsy effect. Using shade to your advantage can open up some great possibilities.
Position The Sun Behind You
This is probably one of those photography tips that you have heard before. Shooting with the sun behind you can be great when shooting architecture or landscapes. This means that your subject will be well lit, and thus bringing out a lot of detail. It allows for great looking skies while avoiding the obvious harshness of having the sun in your shot. However, this doesn’t work so well when your subjects are people as they will probably end up squinting with the sun glaring right at them. This is where the next photography tip comes in handy.
Use Your Flash
This is a trick I tried recently with great results. With the sun to the side or behind your subject (but not visible in your shot), you can use your flash to light up the areas that would otherwise be shadowed. The great thing about using flash in the outdoors is that you don’t get the same fake blue-ish tone that can occur when using it indoors. Many cameras also have an intensity setting for the flash, so you can experiment and find the one which works best.
This is another photography technique I quite like. By intentionally positioning the sun behind your subject you can create some stunning images. With the sun providing this backlighting, your subject is completely in shadow against a bright background. This stark difference in light and/or colour will bring the attention to the shape of the subject.
Built-in Shooting Modes
Many cameras come with a selection of automatic shooting modes for different situations and subjects. Some of them are made for outdoor photography, and some even specifically for the beach, the sunshine and even for silhouettes. Have fun and play around with these settings and see what kind of images they produce.
I hope that some or all of these photography tips help with capturing your summertime fun.