Summer is fully under way here in the US. We’ve already spent LOTS of hours poolside, lathering on the sunscreen, and enjoying the warmth. Taking photos in the summer sun can sometimes be tricky. It is super easy to get harsh shadows on the face and camera meters are easily tricked by the bright sun and dark shadows.
So here are a few tips for getting better photos on bright, sunshiney days!
- Where is the Sun? Where are the Shadows? These are the questions that I want you to ask yourself when you are out photographing in the sun. This only takes 1 second to do–literally! Once you know where the sun and the shadows are, place your subject so that they are looking INTO their own shadow. They don’t have to be looking perfectly into it—slightly off to one side will work, too. If you can’t move your subject, then move yourself so that you are photographing your subject from the shadow side. You’ll be amazed at the pretty even light you are able to get on the face from just this one trick!
- Set your camera to Spot Metering. All SLR and digital SLR camera’s will have a spot metering setting. When set to spot metering, your camera is only reading the light that is being reflected from that one spot. On Canon cameras, the spot the camera reads from is the center spot. On Nikon cameras, the spot the camera reads from the spot that is the chosen focal point. Place the spot over your subject or if your subject is a person—their face. If you are using manual mode, set your settings using the reading you get from your light meter. If you are using an automatic mode, snap a photo and check the exposure on your subject. Your background may be a bit overexposed. That is just the nature of the bright summer sun. What I care most about is the faces of my subjects—nice and evenly lit!
- Don’t Look at the Camera. Can’t get the light just right? Or, can’t adjust your angle to your subject? The two suggestions above just too confusing? Then just capture your subject not looking at you. The shadows and highlights aren’t as noticeable.
Enjoy your beautiful summer sun photos!