Shooting outdoors with natural light only can be demanding and tricky, especially if you’re shooting on a sunny day. But, although it’s challenging, it’s definitely not impossible to take impressive portraits even in the harsh midday sun. In this video, Miguel Quiles teams up with Dan and Sally Watson to bring you four quick and useful tips for shooting when you’ve got nothing but sunlight available.
Miguel, Dan, and Sally used the opportunity to play around with the brand new Sony A7R IV, paired with the FE 85mm f/1.4 GM lens. So, this video lets you kill two birds with one stone: you will learn four helpful shooting tricks, plus you’ll get to see some sample photos of Sony’s new camera.
Here are the tips for shooting with natural light only:
- Find a shady spot: to avoid harsh light on the subject’s face when you’re shooting in a bright sunny day, find a shady spot and place your model there.
- Natural backlight: when shooting in a sunny day, you can use the sunlight to create backlight behind your subject. Shooting when the sun is low (in the sunrise or sunset) creates beautiful, golden backlight.
- Find a dark background: when the subject is against a dark background, it will make them stand out from it, and therefore add depth to the image and make it more dynamic.
- Lean back into the light: shooting in direct sunlight can be very tricky and create pretty unflattering light on the model’s face. To avoid the shadows underneath their eyes, have the model lean back into the light and close their eyes. This way, the face will be evenly lit and you’ll end up with some stunning portraits.
There are a few more ways to make the best out of harsh sunlight. If you have a reflector around, take a look at these tips. Then, here are some ways to create your own shade if you really don’t want the sunlight to shine on your subject’s face. No matter which approach you choose, all that matters is that you can turn even the unflattering midday sun to your advantage.
Make sure to watch the video to see the resulting, and feel free to share with us some portraits you took in the midday sun.