Is it always a bad idea to shoot during noontime?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by thereforeiamx, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. thereforeiamx

    thereforeiamx TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    nyc<3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Of course, people have said that shooting noontime gives the harshest shadows. Is that always true? With ample artificial lighting of any type, is it even possible to get good shots in camera?

    I visited a nearby forest at noon today and decided to shoot some pictures of a couple of friends there. I thought I could somehow work around the sun using much of the shade there, but the pieces of the background were blown out. Is this not avoidable?
     
  2. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    True North Cold and Freezing
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I've been wondering this lately as well and I'm very interested in the answer.

    I can tell you that the majority of my best outdoor shots have been made near sunset, but what is that saying? Are sunset and sunrise always better for lighting or do I just not know how to take full advantage of high-noon lighting?
     
  3. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    California
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    "Always" is a very strong term, because there is nothing in photography that is "always" one way or another. There can always be exceptions, but with the harsh lighting during the middle of the day it largely depends on what you are trying to photograph. You can always use a filter, find a shady area (side of a building, tree), etc.

    Are you specifically referring to the scenario you mentioned, or are there other areas?

    In the scenario that you specified, I would say try to get as little bright background as possible. Put them up against a tree and focus in close, try different angles, make them lay down, etc. Or better yet, find a more suitable location with more shade-cover.
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    While its not easy, there are still some nice pictures to be had in bright noon time sun. You have to be more weary of backgrounds, hotspots, subject placement and so on.

    I shot a confirmation this past weekend under very bright sun. While I found some decent shadow, there was one man who was taller than the others and while looking at the pictures on my PC after, his head was a bit higher and had sun hitting it, thus blowing up his bald head.

    So you can do it, and you can get some nice results working with the light, fill flash and so on, its just that much harder.
     
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You can stop the blow-out of backgrounds with a fill flash. That way you brighten the subject, but keep the background the same luminosity, giving the entire scene more even exposure. Just be sure to use a softbox or diffuser for that, where the subject is in shade but the background is bright. Using a direct flash with most assuredly give harsh shadows on the subject, which is going to probably be worse than blowing-out the background.

    I would go so far as to say that in most cases, dawn and dusk are indeed the best times to shoot outdoors. You probably know that the larger light source (in terms of area emitting light) in comparison to the subject, the softer the shadows. That's why windows are some of best available lights that can be used; they act like one giant light source. During the day, the sun is the brightest source of light, but so incredibly small compared to the subject that the result is very, very harsh shadows; like a super powerful mag-lite mini in the sky. Once the sun hits the horizon line, the light is no longer coming directly from the sun, but being bounced off the sky; it's like a gigantic, planet-sized softbox. That makes the 10 minutes before and after dawn and dusk prime time for nice, crisp, soft light (more as the duration of daylight gets longer, as in summer).

    At high-noon and the hours around it, it's best to avoid direct sunlight. So, find shade (lots of it), solid backgrounds (not a solid colour; I just mean without holes in it that might show bright daylight), and places with even lighting. If you have to shoot outside in the sun, using a fill flash can help a tremendously. And partly cloudy and cloudy days are just great; look at those clouds as a gift. They're like a big softbox in the sky.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  6. Deker

    Deker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The suburbs of Atlanta, GA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm not a professional in any way BUT I have met many photography who shot during noon on a cloudy day.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,224
    Likes Received:
    5,003
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Which points up the fact that flash photography is a skill any aspiring photographer needs to acquire.......and the sooner the better.

    In fact by using flash you can make 2 exposures at the same time, one exposure for the foreground and a different one for the background, all in the same image.

    When you have the camera set to flash, your shutter speed is limited to your cameras flash sync speed usually 1/200 of a second. The exposure of your subject is completely controlled by your aperture and the power level you have your speedlight set to. Control of motion blur and camera shake is also controlled by your speedlight because the duration of the flash is way shorter than your higher shutter speeds. Your DOF is still controlled with aperture.

    You control the background exposure with your shutter speed because you don't have to worry about using shutter speed to control motion blur anymore like you have to without a speedlight.

    The closer your shutter speed is to your sync speed (1/200), the darker your background will be.
     
  8. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,501
    Likes Received:
    700
    Location:
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I shoot at all times of the day and any weather condition.

    Shooting with bright sunlight requires more thought.
    You have to look at the scene as a whole before taking a photo. I spend a lot of time looking at how different elements in the shot work together ... and that includes the different types of light.

    My website shows many examples of shooting in bright sunlight. You will see that I do not have any shots with extreme light/dark subjects ... it is a balancing act.

    In a lot of case's I walk away from a shot that I know has too much exposure latitude ... even though I think it is a great shot.

    The histogram is a great tool to examine exposure latitude ... so is spot metering.
    I learned working with exposure latitude with Film and the Zone System.
     
  9. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    True North Cold and Freezing
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    When it's overcast, the time of day isn't really relevant, because the clouds are like a giant softbox creating even lighting everywhere.
     
  10. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,513
    Likes Received:
    122
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I really don't understand this confusion....of course the best lighting is early morning, and in the evening. But, I shoot ALLLL the time during the day, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. It's not like the whole earth is covered in direct sunlight. You just have to be creative. You will be limited, but you can still find things to shoot.

    Keep in mind I like to take pictures of random things like flowers, plants, rusty barbwire...etc. :O)
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,252
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Personally, I will try to find a shaded area if possible.

    A professional may try something like this with the diffuser panels.

    searched from google
    http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/001/001H5o-3288284.jpg


    For small children, a hand held white diffuser panel will help as well.
    Take a look at here
    Digital Rebel XT Lessons
    Lesson 9, chapter 5

    You can see the effect on taking photo of a kid under the harsh sun light with a diffuser panel.
     
  12. sburatorul

    sburatorul TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    a place few people heard of
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    definitely need a diffuser now. i thought i can go with a mesh to reflect the light on the shaded side of the subject... man i should stop reading tpf... my wish list is growing endlessly. but than again... why not?
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

diffuser panel

,
hand held diffuser
,
hand held diffuser photography
,
is it a bad idea to take pictures at noon outside?
,
is it bad to shoot at noon outside
,
is it ok to photograph at noon if its cloudy
,
portraits taken with the use of diffuser panels
,
shooting on noontime
,
soft light photography 5 in 1 diffuser
,
sun diffuser photography