10 Tips For Shooting In Direct Sunlight

Image and insights by PICHA in-house photographer, Kat Grudko.

  1. Always shoot into the light to avoid your subject squinting. This also gives a softer light, as well as a rim or backlight created naturally by the sun.
  2. If the light is still too harsh use a scrim (usually the inside part on most 5 in 1 reflectors) to cover your subject.
  3. Use a reflector to bounce light back at your subject.
  4. The best times to shoot (both people and landscapes outside) is the first and last 2 to 3 hours of the day, depending on the time of year and how long the days are. This is when the light is softest.
  5. Try avoid shooting in the midday sun.
  6. If shooting outside closer to midday you will need to shoot in a shaded area or you can use the sun as a backlight and then use a battery operated light as a main light in front of your subject to fill in the shadows.
  7. Always expose for the brightest area and fill in the shadows with a reflector or light.
  8. Shoot on a cloudy day for softer light. Although if it is too cloudy the light can look a bit soft.
  9. Underexpose by a stop or two. This makes editing the images easier. It is better for the picture quality to bring the exposure up a bit in editing then it is to try save an over exposed image.
  10. Always shoot in RAW. You can do a lot more with a RAW image in post processing than you can with a JPEG.

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