Much like every year, our unpredictable British weather likes to keep us on our toes. This does mean that capturing those perfect photos can be a little tricky. People often find their photos are either flooded with light or hidden in shade and it can be a challenge to find the ideal balance.
Having photographed many products, lifestyle images and venues, I have learnt a few essential tips and tricks along the way when it comes to dealing with sun and shade. I thought it was only fair that I shared them with you and I hope you find them useful this summer.
Open shade is your new best friend!
Shade can be a real pain when photographing outdoors (or even indoors!) but there is a little something that us photographers like to call ‘open shade’. What is thisI hear you ask? Open shade is anywhere that is shaded from direct sunlight but still has ambient light around it. When the subject is in open sunlight it can cast some rather unflattering shadows, particularly on the face. Have a good look around and spot any buildings, trees or even fencing that could provide an element of shade. This is like natures very own airbrush tool! Just this little bit of shade can provide an even and blemish free skin complexion.
Push the sun to the back!
The location of the sun when shooting is crucial and having the sun to one side of someone can make things a little tricky. You will find you often get one side of your shot very underexposed and the other side over-exposed! A photographer’s nightmare! As a general rule of thumb, the camera will only expose for one main light source so when learning, try shooting with the sun behind your subject to create a nice halo effect (but always expose for your subject, not the sun!). An alternative, and often one that many avoid is to try shooting with the sun directly on your subject. This can make the eyes of your subject really stand out and provide a soft skin tone.
Use the sun to your advantage!
The sun doesn’t always have to be your enemy when shooting. Why not use it to create some beautiful solar flares or sunspots across your shot. This can create some individuality to your images and offer an atmospheric feel to your images.