Account | Register

4 Tips for Shooting in Harsh Light

While many of us love shooting in the soft light of late afternoon (and early morning!) we may often find ourselves shooting in harsh lighting conditions. If you find yourself in a situation with less than "ideal" light, here are some tips to help you make the most of it:

WARM IT UP

All too often, shooting in harsh light can result in washed out skin tones and surroundings. Adding some warmth in post-processing can help relieve some of the washed out tones, but keep in mind that a little goes a long way, so start off small and work your way up - you don't want to get too warm. 

OPEN SHADE

If possible, find a spot that is shaded. As you can see in the example here, there is a lot of really intense light in the background. Having the subject move forward, into the shade of the tree line, makes all the difference.

Crop:

Pull Back:

CONVERT TO BLACK AND WHITE

High noon and harsh light can lend themselves to fantastic lighting for black and white photos. The bright light creates great contrast, and converting to black and white can help minimize the appearance of dappled light, especially if you are shooting near trees.

CONSIDER THE BACKGROUND

If you simply cannot locate any open shade, try finding a way to pose your subject so that the background is lit in the same way as the subject. For example, make sure that the sunlight in the background of your image is not completely overpowering the foreground/your subject.

In this photo, there is no open shade to be found! However, the light is not distracting, in fact, it's working quite well, because the entire scene is lit exactly the same throughout the image:

These are just a few of the ways in which you can make the most of shooting in harsh light. Do you have any tips you would like to share on shooting in difficult lighting conditions? We love hearing from you! 

Posted by

Leave a Comment