17 June 2011

High Noon Photography Tips

Susan Brannon
17 June 2011

High Noon:  Hard Light
What do you do if you am somewhere when the light is the strongest and you really want to take some images?   Remember, photography is based on the amount of exposure of light that is absorbed to your film or sensor.  Taking images in the harsh sun can wash out your images, making the colors dull and drab. There are a few ways to get around this problem and still have nice results.
       
A way to work with light is to play with your ISO, shutter speed and aperture.  You can adjust the settings according to the situation.  As a rule of thumb, I like to start on f/16 for sunny bright days and then adjust from that point.  I also like my ISO as low as possible, because I do not like much grain in my images, the higher the ISO the more grain.  Normally, I start with my shutter speed at 30 and go from there.  This speed allows for movement to occur around me and can freeze the subject.  Also, if the shutter speed is set to low, too much light will get in and you can over expose your image washing it out even more than the natural sun would do. 

 Above are two images take a few minutes apart.  The one on the left was taken at f/16 at 50 shutter speed with ISO 125.  The one on the right was taken at f/16 at 80 shutter speed with the same ISO.  The one on the left is all washed out and bright.  On the right there is more contrast and brighter colors.

*Tip: Remember:
Shutter Speed: The lower the number the less light
Aperture: The higher the number the less light
ISO:  The higher the number the more sensitive the film or sensor is to light.

Other High Noon Photography Tips:

•    You can use a polarized or warming filter to help diffuse the light.  I use the polarized lens when I am near water or in the desert.  It softens the harshness of the light and really helps to bring out nice colors.  If you are doing street photography or photojournalism, a polarized lens is a must because you will not have time to tinker with your settings.
•    Go to the shade!  When the sun is the strongest, take images in the shade.  This will remove the harshness of the image and improve your contrast.
•    Use your Lens Hood.  If you cannot take images in the shade, put on your lens hood.  This will help with sunspots on your images.
•    Use a reflector when taking portraits, this will help remove the unattractive shadows under the eyes, nose and neck!
•    Play with shadows!  When the sun is at high noon, you will notice clear and crisp shadows.  Play with them, use them to enhance your images and be creative!

Above, I used shadow as part of the composition for the images.  You can take a simple weed growing along the wall and create a nice image from it.
Related lessons:

4 comments:

Mohibullah Mamun said...

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I have also some tips for "Low budget lenses for Photography"
Hope you will find it useful.

Jackie Oliver said...

I really like your tips about using a warming filter on pictures with high lighting. It makes it a little bit less intense, keeping the light under control. Also, I love your tip about having some fun with shadows, and playing with them a little bit. I love the illusion that they add to the picture, it's so cool.


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