Full sun questions

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fudd8963's picture
Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 1630
Full sun questions

So I tried to get some good pics of the girls outside on Easter since it was so nice out. Well, they came out pretty aweful. I just couldn't figure out which direction to place them with full sun. What direction should the sun/light be from them? Any CC is always welcome, but there is SO much that these need I don't even know where to start! Grrr, I need to figure out this lighting thing, it's really confusing!

Backs to the sun
f/5; 1/800; ISO-100, no flash

Faces to the sun
f/25; 1/125; ISO-400, no flash

La123's picture
Joined: 04/11/08
Posts: 815

Full sun can be REALLY hard. It's hard not to get blown spots, and to keep your subject(s) from squinting. I think the best way to do it is to have the sun behind the subject, and you in front of them, facing the sun. In your pictures, I would suggest getting down to their level and possibly posing them closer together, for better focus.

This is my best example. I had the sun behind her. You can see that some of her hair is blown, but that was the best I could do so far.
MomWM

EL2
EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

What time of day were you shooting? If you are shooting midday thats tough because the sun will be directly above you. I would suggest later in the afternoon where the sun is in an angle. If you are going to have your subject facing away from the sun then you would want to meter off the brightest area of the frame so that when you brighten up the subject you will not have too much blown background. You can affect the halo where the hair is blown as suggested above.

AmberBella's picture
Joined: 02/15/07
Posts: 1831

Sun like that....absolutely you must back light your subject and just not worry that much about the background. Or figure out fill flash....though I've never once liked the look that resulted from fill flash. A reflector is another option, but very tough without an assistant.

SO, backlight the subject and expose for your subject's face. You will blow the sky, and you will likely blow highlights in the hair. With any luck your subject won't be wearing white, and you can avoid blowing the clothing.

A really good trick is to put your subjects in front of something dark, so that the background doesn't actually get blown. I've done it a few times and it works wonderfully.

some backlight photos:

IMG_8476 WEB

IMG_5536 BLOG

and a full sun front lit. works well if subject isn' looking at you and your background is dark. Expose for the highlights.

fudd8963's picture
Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 1630

Thanks for all of the tips ladies! I can't wait to get out and put them to use. I will try to post some of them after using these tips.

Amber, LOVE that pic of Nathan! He looks so sweet and innocent there!

Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3409

You've gotten some great advice and I can't really add (since I too have been struggling with this), but I wanted to say just how CUTE the girls are despite all of the challenges of full sun shooting. Smile

TFS,
GiGi

sweetalienchick's picture
Joined: 10/25/05
Posts: 2106

full sun can be sooo hard!! everyone has given you some great tips! Biggrin heck, thanks for this! I will take any advice on full sun shooting any day. I think after awhile it gets easier and you just work quicker. For me at first it takes me awhile to think of how exactly i'll be doing something and my subjects don't sit still long enough lol Anyway, cute shots you got there regardless. Smile

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

Can anyone elaborate on how you expose for highlights, when in full sun? Does it mean to select the points that are on the brightest areas of the frame? Then will your meter bar read accordingly?

(I should have asked this 2 weeks ago before I did the anniversary couple photo shoot, when they wanted to try out some outdoor pics and even at 5:15pm the sun was still blazing and too bright, unexpectedly....we ended up going on their porch and then indoors)

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"Amy_&_Eva" wrote:

Can anyone elaborate on how you expose for highlights, when in full sun? Does it mean to select the points that are on the brightest areas of the frame? Then will your meter bar read accordingly?

You got it! Meter off the brightest part and expose that.

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

Thanks, I'll have to try it!
Amber, were your backlit shots in late afternoon/evening? Or is the lovely golden-ness purely a result of metering off the brightest-lit areas? I was able to get similar back-lighting on DH in late late afternoon after the sun was way down but still out....without changing my metering points....which I haven't really tried yet....but I haven't tried it in brighter sun yet.

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

OK I reread Amber's statement about exposing for the subject's face and that makes complete sense to me now that I tried taking some pics of Eva in full sun today after selecting "spot metering" (is that right mode to use?) and trying to aim for the brightest spots with the meter points, and then adjusting my SS till the light meter was centered, and ending up with her face in near-complete darkness....so I realized I would have to aim for her face (the dark areas) instead. Am I on the right track??

La123's picture
Joined: 04/11/08
Posts: 815

"Amy_&_Eva" wrote:

OK I reread Amber's statement about exposing for the subject's face and that makes complete sense to me now that I tried taking some pics of Eva in full sun today after selecting "spot metering" (is that right mode to use?) and trying to aim for the brightest spots with the meter points, and then adjusting my SS till the light meter was centered, and ending up with her face in near-complete darkness....so I realized I would have to aim for her face (the dark areas) instead. Am I on the right track??

Here is a great tutorial on shooting in full sun

http://ilovephotography.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=345422

HTH Smile

Amy_&_Eva's picture
Joined: 08/23/07
Posts: 2378

Thanks Lauren, I'll take a look, as soon as I find my ILP login info LOL. It's in my email inbox somewhere.