Bring on the Sun!

I’ve thought about doing an entire street series on Portlander’s freaking out over a sun spotting. The squinting. The jubilation. The luxuriating.

But mastering bright light shooting can be a challenge. I found some great advice for handling the “magic orb” as we call it here. Some of these images came out pretty cool. Others need some work.

Here are some ideas to try:

  • Put the “orb” at your back. Shooting with the sun behind you helps with the harshness of the light. I like playing with shadows, so I enjoy trying a variety of sun positions with different backgrounds.
  • Underexpose — you can always brighten and lighten when editing.
  • Look for alleyways, corridors & areas where shafts of light might make for interesting and unusual shots.
  • Utilize side light to get clear shots of faces. Watch for light tunnels and the direction they are going compared to the subject.
  • Shoot early/shoot late when possible. Morning & evening light are da bomb.
  • Fill flash can be helpful, but it can also be distracting. In any case, it can help fill in shadows during tough times like high noon on a bright day.
  • Check out this advice from Photography Talk: 
  • Utilize the “Sunny 16 rule”
  • Take notes! Record what works & what doesn’t for better results next time.

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