Yesterday we talked about adding light when the ambient light wasn’t enough for your shot. Today we’re going to talk about the opposite end of the spectrum.
We’ve heard it again and again – shoot an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset to get warm, pretty glowy light. Well, yes. That’s perfect; but you won’t always have such gimmes to work with, particularly if you plan to shoot people.
So let’s talk about the worst lighting condition possible: Full bright light. Midday. Sunny day. Glaring light.
There is a misconception among new camera owners that sunny days are best. But, in the photographic world, sunny days are the devil. The devil, I tell ya.
Squinty eyes, blown out highlights, white skies, the risk overexposure is high. And there ain’t noooo retrievin’ of them pixels.
But there will be events – birthday parties, weddings, field trips, scheduled shoots, unavoidable times where you can’t just order up a sunset shoot. How can you make the best of craptastic shooting conditions without using strobes or flash?
Be prepared! Ideally you’ll find open shade – under a tree, next to a building, tucked under an eave – but if not?
Make your own open shade.
If you don’t have a large reflector, there’s an even less expensive solution!
For pennies on the dollar, you can achieve similar results with some clamps, an opaque shower curtain, or a plain white bed sheet. For really bright days, you can use black or navy bed sheets to really stop down the light. Just be careful to avoid colors so it doesn’t color cast light on your subject.
Keep clamps, a bed sheet or two, and a shower curtain folded tightly in your camera bag. Simply clamp up the sheets or curtain on trees, fences – or grab two people to each hold a corner.
It’s amazing how you can change the light for less than $15.
What tips do you have for shooting in bright daylight?