Harsh sunlight question

JoshuaSimPhotography

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Just wondering guys,
Whenever pointing my camera towards a subject that is lit with some harsh sunlight, the colours seem to wash out and it just ruins the quality of the pic.
SO…what do you guys do to counter this? Do you use a polariser, nd filter, lens hood, etc? I dont really wanna use LR or PS to edit it...
And these are shots from meters away (not being able to use a diffuser or reflector situations)

Thanks guys! :p
JSP
 

Big Mike

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The first thing to consider is your exposure. When something is lit by direct sunlight, it likely has very bright areas and very dark shadows. You camera can't expose for such a wide range of tones (the dynamic range)...so you either end up with blown highlights or blocked up shadows. As the photographer, you can choose what to expose for, but you need to realize the consequence of that.

Another issue might be lens flare. If the sun's light is hitting the front of the lens (even if it's not in the photo), it will likely cause lens flare (light bouncing around inside the lens). Sometimes you will see lens flare as bright spots, but it also shows up as a general loss of contrast & color. If that's the case, a lens hood (or just anything) to block the light from getting into the lens, can help you.

Filters will likely make the problem worse.

If you post examples, it will be easier to diagnose the issue.
 

DiskoJoe

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You could find a shadow
 

MLeeK

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Flash
 

paigew

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I think you should post examples as well. Shooting in full sun should not wash out the contrast like shooting during the golden hour does (haze). I would think that you are over exposing.
 

paigew

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full sun : bright colors



IMG_5451.jpg
 
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Mully

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You might want to cut your overall exposure and edit it later....also check your camera metering settings and white balance. I do not like full sun so I plan some shots at a better time of the day ..if possible
 

sam250240

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There are several things you can try:
1) find an open shadow - put your subject in the shadow and position him/her so that the ground reflects light back to the dark areas in the chin and neck.
2) if there are no open shadows, find a place with natural reflector(s), for example, next to a white wall/building, or anything that reflects light back into the shadow area.
3) use spot metering and meter on the subject's face.

Hope this help :)
Sam
 

kundalini

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I think Joshua has left us for greener pastures. Even though this isn't quite a zombie thread, the question is surely one that all of us have had to manage at some time or will in the future. I'm sure I have posted these before, so if you've seen this trick before, just play nice and let me carry on.

So the only time you can shoot this subject is when there is a harsh sun. The "client" has a particular location in mind as well. You want to shoot at a wider aperture to separate the subject from the background. You take a test shot.....

i-fMGtZ44-XL.jpg




Whoa! Way overexposed, but you like the background rendition. Oh wait.... I have a one stop diffuser in the car.

i-dMC3gBK-XL.jpg




Better, but the subject just doesn't pop enough. Looks a little under exposed. Oh wait..... I have a hot shoe mount flash in the bag.

i-HjN2wf7-XL.jpg





That's one or two ways to work around harsh light. It's even better with a handsome model and better yet, one that isn't suffering from a Bloody Mary Morning.
 

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