outdoor bright sun lighting question!


TPF Noob!
Jul 17, 2008
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Boston, Massachusetts
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I've been really lucky to have a couple families pose for some family shots/playing shots on my only free time.. Sat morning/afternoon so I can get some more practice. the problem that I've been facing and working around is what the best way to have the sun work with me and not against my pictures, (aka squinting eyes, washed out faces, harsh harsh shadows) I don't have too much equipment now but tips would be great!
Unfortunately, there's not much in the way of cheap workarounds, tips or tricks for dealing with bright sunlight. The only answer really is more light; eg to place the subjects with the light behind them, and then use fill light to provide an even exposure. Typically a couple of off-camera strobes are best for this, however, reflectors will help, and even something as simple as a large piece of white or light yellow card stock from Wal-Mart of the stationer's will suffice.

Try looking for locations where there is some natural shade, but not enough to make exposure too tricky.
Use the sun as rim-lighting. Have them facing the camera with the sun at a 3/4 angle to them--behind them,and off to one side. Have an assistant shield your camera's immaculately-clean lens (!!!!) front with a piece of card or fabric, and expose for the "dark side" of them with a close-up, accurate light meter reading. The sunlight will outline them, and will be a slight bit "hot" perhaps...if you can find a place where the sun bounces off of the side of a light-colored building, that might give more fill-in lighting for the shadowed side of them.

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