It’s summer and the days are long and sunny. If you shoot portraits outdoors, the harsh midday sun may mess up with your plans. You can embrace it and incorporate it into your shots, but you can also create your own shade and modify or even block the harsh rays of the sun. In this 2-minute video, photographer David Bergman of Adorama will show you a couple of possible solutions for creating your own shade without changing the shooting location.
When shooting in the harsh midday sun, you can always try and find shade, but it means you have to change the location of the shooting. This may ruin your plans and mess with the composition you wanted to achieve, so you can make the shade on the spot. David Bergman recommends a couple of techniques.
First, you can use translucent fabric. This way some sunlight will still come through, and you’ll just modify it so the shadows aren’t that harsh. The fabric David uses blocks one stop of light, but you can find them at different strengths.
Another way to go is to use black fabric. It blocks all the sunlight and gives you full control to add your own light on the subject’s face.
Here are some options
There are several options to choose from, from expensive gear to cheap DIY stuff. David uses this one and it’s a translucent screen. Glow makes a more budget-friendly option for $99. You can also use a good ol’ reflector which you might already have at home. A great thing about it is that it gives you diffusion, but you can also use it to block the sunlight.
You can also use an umbrella to either diffuse or block the sunlight. Finally, you can always improvise and use a piece of foam core or even cardboard. Just make sure it’s large enough to cover your entire subject.
Which options do you use to create shade when shooting outdoors? Or you perhaps rather embrace the midday sun?
[Making Shade: Two Minute Tips with David Bergman | Adorama]