The golden hour is probably the time when most of us would choose to take photos. But, there will be times when you’ll be forced to shoot in a harsh midday sun, for one reason or the other. You can bring reflectors, strobes, or try to find or make a shade. But in this video, Manny Ortiz will give you some quick tips on how to embrace the direct sunlight and turn it into your advantage without any gear but your camera and lens.
Even though harsh midday sun is far from an ideal lighting situation, sometimes you’ll have no other choice. In this video, Jay P. Morgan shows you four ways to make the best of that direct sunlight and turn it into your advantage. He demonstrates three setups that only use the sunlight, and the fourth one adds a strobe to the equation. But in all cases, you’ll end up with great portraits even in the otherwise unflattering direct sunlight.
Shooting on location presents all kinds of lighting challenges. You’re at the mercy of the weather, and thus the light. And which light is “best” is a huge matter of personal preference. Some prefer the softness of a cloudy overcast day. Others like that harsh bright direct sunlight. Although the latter is not always that flattering.
There are things you can do to overcome this bright harsh sunlight, though. This video from photographer Manny Ortiz shows us his process, and how he works through these challenges. And it might surprise you to see that not all of them require the use of flash.
Creating portraits outdoors in harsh sunlight is a pain. It’s why people tell you to not go out and do it during a bright sunny day, and to wait until golden hour. Personally, I love it, although I’m often doing it with flash or reflectors but it can be done without those, too.