You ready to become a master at shooting in direct, harsh sun?
Have you ever been told NOT to shoot in direct sunlight or avoid it as much as possible? I have! I heard this a handful of times when I started picking up a camera. Honestly, I got nervous to even try. I mean, there must be a reason people hate it and avoid it… so I should too, right?
But when I started to experiment and TRY shooting in direct sun, I became obsessed. I LOVED the results – the deep, rich colors and golden skin tones. Slowly but surely, shooting in direct sunlight has become one of my FAVORITE things!
However, I get that it is tough and takes some practice. So I have 3 big tips for you so that you can NAIL those direct sun photos every time! Are you ready to ROCK shooting in direct sun?
Your aperture does 2 things.
First off, aperture is what determines how much light is let through the camera lens.
Large number, like f/16 = small lens opening. Small lens opening = less light gets through.
Small number, like f/1.4 = large lens opening. Large lens opening = a lot of light gets through.
Secondly, it determines depth of field / how many things are in focus. A large f-stop number = the more that will be in focus (no background blur), while a smaller number = the less that’s in focus and the more background blur you’ll have.
For example, f/16 = 16 things in focus. f/2.0 = 2 things in focus!
Whenever you’re setting your camera’s aperture, those are the 2 things to remember.
When you’re out shooting people in direct sun, you want a nice blurred background, but you also don’t want to let a ton of light. Setting your camera’s aperture between 2.0 and 2.8 should be perfect.
2. Shutter Speed
Shutter speed = how long you let light flow into your lens.
A low shutter speed (such as 1/150) = the slower the lens opens and closes, which lets light through longer.
A high shutter speed (such as 1/6000) = the faster the shutter opens and closes, letting light through briefly.
In direct sun, choose a shutter speed of 1/2000+
Setting a quick shutter speed will make sure you get enough light, but not too much.
ISO = how sensitive you want your camera to be to light.
A low number (ISO 100) = not sensitive to light.
A high number (ISO 64000) = very sensitive to light.
In direct sun you don’t need your camera to be super sensitive to light because you have a ton around you. So setting your camera to an ISO of 100-150 should be perfect.
I hope this helps you NAIL those direct sun lighting scenarios! Feel free to let me know your experience with direct sun shooting in the comments!
Go make some magic!
shooting in direct sun examples:
Wow! So educational, well worded, and helpful! Keep it up!!
This is really good stuff! Keep it up!
I love how you are so engaged, confident and you love your job! My favorite thing about this site and why you do is your masterpieces!
I have totally heard this before! Thanks for the helpful tips Sulli! I’m sure we’ll meet again someday!! 🙂
This is so awesome for helping people understand exposure! I love that you’re sharing your wisdom
Love the natural light you’ve capture here! The images look raw in a simplistic, vintage way!
I’m so excited about you sharing posts like this! I’ve always wanted to be able to take nice pictures, even just as a nice lil back pocket skill, but anything except automatic has always scared me. You rock I can’t wait for the blog to be totally up and running 🙂
Oh my goodness! This is SO helpful, I’m a photographer myself and LOVE IT. This is such good advice!! I love your new website friend, it’s so stunning. -Kathryn Deden
Hi. You’re amazing at this. Your website: gorgeous. Your photos: gorgeous-er. I love watching you evolve your talents. Can’t wait to watch you grow!!!!
So so so stoked for you and this website, Sulli! Keep killing the game!
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