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Tips for Shooting Midday Photos

Posted on July 11, 2020 - By David Hoang
Tips for Shooting Midday Photos
Tips for Shooting Midday Photos
Shooting photos in the mid-day sun can be some of the toughest conditions you'll encounter, at least when shooting outdoors. Usually, the sun is an advantage for a photographer, as it provides plenty of light to allow you to use the exact camera settings you want to use.

However, the high noon sun makes achieving the right exposure difficult. Photos taken with the sun at its highest point in the sky are tough to expose properly, because of the harsh shadows and glare highlights that the sun causes when it's in this position, leading to significant washed out areas or problems with harsh contrast in your images. Use these tips to help you shoot better photos in the noon sun.

Joshua Earle

Add a Diffuser to Our Equipment Bag
If you have the ability to use a diffuser outdoors, it will give you some great results when the mid-day sun is present. Place the diffuser between the sun and the subject (but outside the frame of the photo scene), and it will redirect the harsh direct sunlight, reducing the effect of the harsh shadows.

Harsh Shadows in Portraits

Blake Barlow

A noon sun is especially tough in portrait photos, because the eyebrows and forehead create harsh shadows over the subject's eye sockets, which is undesirable in a portrait photo. Wait until the sun is lower in the sky to improve your results.

Try to Place the Subject in a Shadow
If you must shoot a portrait photo at this time of day, try to place the subject in an area of shadows and use a fill flash. Just make sure the background is shadowed, too, or you'll potentially still end up with a poorly exposed photo, because the camera may try to expose for the bright area behind the subject, rather than for the subject herself.

Compose the Scene without Shadows

Anh Nguyen

Look for subjects in which the problems the midday sun can cause will be unnoticeable. For example, if you're in an area where no trees or buildings are around, you will avoid some of the harsh shadows. Or you can frame the photo to leave the shadows out of the frame, as shown in the photo above.

Large Bodies of Water Work Well in Direct Sun

Will Truettner

One great type of photo to shoot with a noon sun is around a large body of water. The bright blue of a lake or ocean will not be washed out too badly by the sun, you won't have shadows from trees, and the pale color of beach sand will come through OK. Just make sure that you're shooting landscape or nature types of photos in this situation, rather than photos of people, or you'll still end up with the shadows on the faces of your subjects as discussed earlier.

Consider the Sun's Angle in the Sky
Depending on your location on the earth and on the time of year, you might see less of an impact from a noon sun. In the United States, for example, northern areas have the sun lower in the sky during the winter. The sun in North America is also at a bit more of an angle in the midday sky than the sun at a location on the equator. Keep this in mind if you must shoot a mid-day photo, as you'll have better luck with this photo at certain times of the year.

Try to Use Filters
Finally, if you're using a DSLR camera, you can attempt to lessen the harsh areas created by the noon sun by using a filter over the lens. A polarizing filter is especially helpful in this situation.

About the author
David Hoang works as a copywriter for Write Any Papers. He used to be a web designer, but he decided to change his career. In this case, David has an opportunity to tell others how to create a perfect website design.
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