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View Full Version : Who's afraid of afternoon sun?



Wicked Dark
05-14-2010, 09:16 AM
Try as we might, not all photos can be taken during The Golden Hour. In the past I've been frustrated trying to get decent photos on bright, sunny days. Trouble was I was working against the light and not with it. Doh! It doesn't always have to be horrible. These were taken at the coast the other day - a salt marsh and more traditional coastline at a decommissioned military fort.

http://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Other/coast/P5116789/865998153_vi5eo-XL.jpg

Including some kind of foreground element and less sky (which tends to be boring and blown out with this light) is really important, but sometimes hard to find. Luckily there was this wall and tree.

http://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Other/coast/The-Boundary/865998561_KfpYN-XL.jpg

I didn't do any color boosting in these, just clarity and some sharpening. I did us a CPL though, and watched my angle to the sun.

http://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Other/coast/Portsmouth-Harbor/866599060_mya8c-XL.jpg

One thing I have to keep in mind is to go for the bold, not the subtle. Colors, lines, forms...that kind of thing shows well in afternoon sun.

http://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Other/coast/P5116925/866599826_H5tRK-XL.jpg

http://wickeddark.smugmug.com/Other/coast/P5116936/866598915_6VqmM-XL.jpg

I really need to have different goals in mind during high noon and I find it a bit hard to change my modus operandi. But since every vacation day is frigging filled with bright sun, it's something I really need to be better at. Practice, practice, practice.

Anyway, I'll stop babbling.

Iguanasan
05-14-2010, 09:22 AM
Hey, WD. Nice tour of your brain. Not sure I'd wanna live there :eek:

Hehehehe. Nice set you have here and I like your observations. #2 and #3 are my favourites out of this set.

Wicked Dark
05-14-2010, 09:35 AM
you're just jealous because the voices only talk to me. :)

but really I find that sometimes I get into a photography groove and find a location frustrating if the light isn't photographically perfect. That's crap and I know it. If a photographer knows how to work with the light she's in, she can make it work, it's just a matter of remembering how.

I'm glad you like #2, I was really unsure of it until I started to mess with it in Lightroom a bit. Just like they do when taking the photo, processing sunny pictures requires different handling than "optimal" images do.

oh man, I'm rambling, but I'll add one more thing. The basic idea in this post comes from years of shooting slide film - a much more narrow constraint than any digital medium and often one had to abandon a shoot due to bright sun. Now I don't have to, but because I didn't shoot in it often I didn't have a routine or a method to make it work. Now I do, but it's tough to shed the conditioning of 20 years.

Ok. shutting up now.