Taking pictures in bright sunlight in no fun for any Photographer. You get the harsh shadows and highlights and the Photo just doesn´t look professional. But how can you avoid it and take a great picture even if the sun is shining right above you? How to take Photos in direct sunlight? I will share in this article some tips for better Photography in direct sunlight.
So how to step up your Photography in bright sunlight conditions? Golden Hour in Photography is the ideal time for a perfect Photo, which is one hour after sunrise and one before sunset. Unfortunately this timeline does not give you that much time to take Photos throughout the day.
However I highly recommend shooting your Photos in Golden Hour as the results are much better. The light is naturally soft and with the beautiful sunset colours you can get some professional looking results.
But I get that. There are some situations, when you need to take pictures during the sunny day. For example vacation or wedding. You don´t have time to wait until sunset, because it is happening right now. And so you need to figure out how to deal with an unideal situation.
TIP #1 Use the Shadows
Yes, the shadows. You might think to yourself- why on earth would I use the shadows when there is a beautiful sunny day outside and I want to have beautiful sunny pictures. Well the reason is simple. Shadow works as a diffuser of sunlight. The shadow is creating the soft light, diffusing all the light evenly.
Be aware of the pavement colour
Pay also attention on the colour of the ground your subject is standing on. Daylight is being reflected from the ground to your subject. So if it is black you might experience lack of light reflecting and if it is white there might be too much light bouncing back to your subject.
Clouds could also work
Using shadows is actually the same thing as when the sky is cloudy. Clouds are also considered diffusers and you can get the similar results as from the studio with soft boxes.
So anytime you are supposed to take pictures on the midday, when the sun is high try to find shadows in your surroundings or wait for the clouds to show up. It will make your Photo much better and you would be pleased with the results.
Take a look at this 5-minutes video to better understand how the light works and how you can use the shadows to your advantage.
TIP #2 Use the diffuser
Place your diffuser above your subject covering the sun- this means vertically to the sunshine. So now it doesn´t matter, that your subject is standing on the direct sunlight. As the clouds mentioned above, this will diffuse the light to all the parts of your subject and you will get some great looking Photos like this.
To get even better results you might consider using other reflectors that are usually included in the package. When using the gold one you can generate this warm sunny feeling without having to stand on the sunlight. Just place the reflector to the subject face ale see what works for you. Usually you want to copy the actual sun so I would recommend to place the reflector above the head.
Watch the video below for a better understanding how the gold reflector works, how can you replicate the sun and create this natural looking warm colours.
TIP #3 Use the direct light to your advantage
Sometimes the bright light is what you are looking for. You can make your Photos more interesting incorporating it in your setup. Your shadows can make some interesting textures to your subject and this might just be what you are looking for. In this case you do not necessarily have to avoid the light. Just think before you take a picture and look around. You can make some stunning arts.
At the end of the day…
There are few different methods how to differentiate amateur looking photos from those professional when shooting during the day. I highly recommend to see the area first and then decide where or what to shoot. This could be essential to your great photos that you want to take.
Whether it would be using shadows or diffusers your photos will significantly improve. So if you are in the learning stages don´t be too hard on yourself. There is a lot to learn in Photography and you will not gain all the knowledge overnight.
Just take it one brick at a time- every day make a small step and continue learning. You will be surprised how far you have come when you look back one day.
Keep the good work and have a great day.