Shooting in the Summer Sun

Summer is just around the corner and with summer comes playing outside in the sun. And, of course, you’re going to want to take some amazing pictures of your children and family outside this summer. But, as anyone who has ever tried to take pictures in the sun knows, it’s really difficult to manage the super bright light of the daytime sun. So what can you do about it?

Shade. Many people think that those sparkling eyes and bright colors only come from pictures in the sun. Well, we’re here to tell you that’s not true. Yes, you need the sun, but you don’t need to be in the sun. In fact, probably the best outdoor pictures you’ll take will be in the shade. There is plenty of light to light your subjects’ faces but the picture (and the subject) won’t be innundated with light. So, when at all possible, find some shade.

Full sun. Of course, there are some situations where finding shade is not an option. (At the beach, for example) In those situations, many people want their subjects facing the sun. It’s actually a terrific approach for technically good pictures. It minimizes shadows and maximizes lighting what’s important. However, the expressions you’ll get will be so uncomfortable that the technical beauty won’t matter. Squinting eyes. Crinkled noses. No one is comfortable looking directly into the sun. So, here are two ideas. First, if you have a camera that you can control manually (a DSLR for example, not an iPhone), put the sun directly behind your subject and spot meter for your subject. If you do not have a manually controlled camera, place your subjects as close as possible to facing the sun, but NOT facing the sun. So the light hits them on one cheek, but not directly in their eyes. You’ll get some shadow, which can actually be nice, but you’ll avoid those really uncomfortable faces.

Avoiding direct sun is always best… if you can find some really nice shade.

As always, Pollack Photography is Focused on You.

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