I know the title sounds like a bad idea… yet there is a very big time gap between the golden hours.
When I first learned about the golden hour, I learned only shoot in the golden hour.
I know that many beginners also think like that.
And there is some truth to the fact that shooting at the right time can improve your picture but, It doesn’t mean you can’t shoot at midday sun.
I mean if you think about it street photography or documentary photography almost always takes place during the day.
So to open up the world to midday sun photography, I thought I create this little post and show you some useful technics and ways to shoot decent pictures during the midday sun.
So let’s get started.
Use your Exposure Bracketing and Watch your Metering
Always have a second look at the picture you just shot because in the harsh midday sun the camera metering is often off by quite a bit. Use your exposure bracketing to compensate it.
Watch your ISO
What I mean by that is make sure that you are shooting always in the lowest Iso setting that is possible on your camera. I only say that because some people seem to forget about their ISO settings
Use an Umbrella
If you don’t have any shadows make your own. Professional photographers usually have huge defusers and 10 assistants to hold them, but if you happen to not have 10 assistants and a huge budget for huge high-end defusers, get a white umbrella and you will be fine. Plus now it will protect you from sun and rain. It won’t work for a landscape picture obviously 🙂 but, it will for portraits, macro shots and anything else with a small framing.
This is also a very cheap and easy way to modify the light available which is a lot. I like to use reflectors because they have many sides plus a defuser and are very portable. All that is great I know but, the question is how to use them in the midday sun? Use it to fill in the shadows that are caused by the harsh midday sun by bouncing light right back at your subject. Plus it’s you can now also shoot into the sun by using it like a fill-in flash.
Since there is a really rare chance to capture the landscape picture of your life in the midday sun, get close. Look for the details of your surroundings. Go even macro if you have the lens for it.
Most people say angles don’t matter in midday sun because the sun is coming from 90° straight above. That is absolutely true… for about 15 minutes. Before and after that angles do matter. If you don’t believe it, try it 🙂
Bad Weather is Awesome
Because there are clouds in front of the sun. Isn’t that amazing? 🙂 No seriously it has a positive side and that is that clouds in front of the sun work like a giant softbox. Which is awesome because now you have soft light everywhere. A good tip for days like that is to shoot in black and white since the colors wound pop anyway. 🙂
Look for Shady Places
And I don’t mean to go to a strip club, I mean places that provide shadows. Shades have the great feature of soft light since there is no direct sunlight.
Always have an ND filter and polarize filter in your bag. The pol filter will help you get rid of strong reflections and the ND filter will block some light. That comes in very handy when you need a slower shutter speed or if you want to open up the aperture to create some nice bokeh.
Using a flash to fill in sounds super easy but it actually is not. 🙂 if you happen to have one try your luck otherways I have a post on that coming up. 🙂
A Good Idea is Finally Using Your Lens Hood
It really is a good idea in the midday sun. Because with the direct sun you will run into problems like lens flare. When your lens came with a lens hood use it. If it didn’t you are doomed!!! No actually not. Just use your hand to shield of the sun. 🙂 There are also hundreds of DIY ways to build one.
Ok, that’s already it with my post about midday sun photography. I hope you found some new tips for your next shoot and if you have any questions or opinions please let me know in the comments and I will get to you as quick as possible.