Quick Photo Fix: Shooting in Bright Sun Part 2

Quick Photo Fix: Shooting in Bright Sun Part 2 / June 10, 2016

Tips and Tricks

The Quick Photo Fix series is back by popular demand! Senior Design Manager Kate took the team outside during the sunniest part of the day to fix two common issues with photos shot in bright sunlight. 




Give these easy tricks a try during your next beach trip, barbecue, or baseball game! 




Tip #1: Choose a sidewalk over a grassy spot when shooting portraits. 



If your photo looks like this... 




Tips for Photographing in Bright Sunlight // Before and After // Nations Photo Lab could be because your subject is surrounded by green! Here's our Graphic Designer Melissa enjoying the sunshine while standing in a large patch of grass. Notice how the shadows and fill light on her face are an unnatural green color? 



There's an easy fix for that! Have your subject stand on the asphalt, the sidewalk, or on the sand. The reflection from the lighter-colored surface will light up his or her face beautifully. Here's the shot of Melissa, now standing on the sidewalk. Easy fix, big difference! 




Tips for Photographing in Bright Sunlight // Before and After // Nations Photo Lab




Tip #2: Use a reflector to capture all the good parts of the afternoon sunshine (without all of the harsh shadows).



When the sun is high in the sky, your subject's face will be distorted in photographs by tons of harsh shadows, much like our Senior Creative Director Chris', shown below.




Tips for Photographing in Bright Sunlight // Before and After // Nations Photo Lab




Even after moving into the shade, it's easy to harness some of that great sunlight to brighten up your subject's face: use a reflector! The best thing about a reflector is that it doesn't HAVE to be professional or fancy. It could be as simple as a white piece of foamcore posterboard, like the one we used, and it will still have a huge impact on the quality of your portrait. 




Have a friend or a trusty assistant hold the reflector so that it is redirecting the light from the sun towards your subject's face. You'll immediately see it "filling in" the shadows that appear on his or her face (without the added glare of the ACTUAL sun).




Tips for Photographing in Bright Sun // How to Use a Reflector in Photography




See the difference a reflector makes in Chris' second photo below:  




Tips for Photographing in Bright Sunlight // Before and After // Nations Photo Lab




Even though we all wish the golden hour lasted all day, it IS possible to capture some great photos in the high afternoon sun. Give these quick and easy tips a try, and let us know how they work for you! 




Tips for Photographing in Bright Sunlight // Before and After // Nations Photo Lab




Have a question about photographing in the summertime? Check out our first installment of Quick Photo Fix, post in the comments below, or tag us in your photo on Instagram (using hashtag #nationsphotolab) for a quick answer from our team of photo experts! 




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Total: 7 Comment(s)
· reply ·
Robert Walker
Why does the guy look like he's not in the same location in the second picture? Not due to lighting but the background is totally different. And the first girl moved to the sidewalk and all of the sudden, the sun isn't shining down harsh light!!! It makes this appear untrustworthy!!
-Robert Walker
· reply ·
Hey, Robert - This is a testament to our talented photographers! The two backgrounds are exactly the same, and the two photos were shot within 10 minutes of each other. We just adjusted our positioning and the use of a reflector (either the sidewalk or a sheet of matboard).
· reply ·
Great tips.
· reply ·
Karen Blanck
Good info
-Karen Blanck
· reply ·
Roger Truitt
Reflectors are great if you have an assistant. But if you don't you use fill flash. Most of the articles that I have read all involve using an assistant. Try using one photographer, no assistant, no tripod. That would be advice that would benefit more people.
-Roger Truitt
· reply ·
Actually the subjects did move to a different location. The first girl has bright sun on her front , but on the second photo it's gone. They probably had her turn around away from the sun. With the second model they moved him from bright sun into the shade. Great job selling the hype instead of actually trying to teach people real world techniques for capturing the best photos possible under extreme conditions.
· reply ·

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