How to take Photos in Direct Sunlight

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There are photography tools that help utilize light. We have polarizing filters, lens hoods, and spot metering. Almost anyone who takes photographs has experienced the problem of photos being too dark or having glare. Extremely bright sunlight can exasperate this problem. If you have ever thought you saw a great shot through the lens of your camera and realized you missed an opportunity because the lighting was not estimated properly, you know what frustration is.

Taking photos in Direct Sunlight

One way to avoid this is to check the exposure meter on the view finder, on a bright day it will read 125 16 or 500 5.6. The first number is the shutter speed; the second number tells you the size of the hole this is known as the f stop. Set your camera to shutter speed priority that way the camera can decide how much light is needed for a photo.

Polarized filters

Make use of polarized filters they give you some control over the reflection of light. During the height of the day the light is at its’ brightest. This can make taking pictures difficult, but you can help yourself out by taking pictures in the shade.

Polarized filters

Most times, especially when it is hot and people are taking photos there will be something around to keep the sun at bay. Maybe they will have a canopy chair, an oversized umbrella on the beach or perhaps the object can be moved near a building or a tree.

How to set the ISO

Use something to block out the sun. Setting your ISO speed at 200 will help. The faster the action the higher the ISO should be set.

Taking photos in direct sunlight you tend to squint and you would like eyes open when you take a photograph. Don’t be afraid to change your angle. Move around a little if you are not somewhere you might fall overboard. If the object you are shooting can be moved change the location, if not move yourself.

If all else fails take several of the same shots using lots of light, very little light, and normal lighting. Try to use a reflector flash to fill in shadows the sun may make, 1.5 to 2 should be enough. Taking pictures in direct sunlight you want to bring out the best in your photographs and the proper use of the settings on your camera is an important part of this process.

Lens hood

Try using a lens hood around the camera to block out light, if the sky is not that beautiful blue just leave it out all together. There is a little trick of allowing the sun to reflect on an object sideways at this angle you get some very interesting shots. Amazing how a position can change the whole mood of a photograph.

Canon EF 28-105 with and without lens hood

Taking photographs is exceptional; you look at everything with new eyes, as if it wasn’t there before. What a great way to look at the world, through the lens of a camera. A favorite scene is light glittering off the water like so many diamonds shimmering in the sun, a great usage of light.

Image sources: 1, 2

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