Saturday, October 16, 2010

Soak up the sun

Everyone has their ups and down with taking photos in the bright sunlight at such places like the beach.  Many find that photos can turn out looking the same, washed out, or lose depth of field.  Shooting in Auto at the beach can turn out to be a bad idea since your camera may choose to under expose your photos, leaving you with a photo that looks almost ghost like.  This would be the best time to turn the nob into Manual and begin to play around with  it. 

Faster shutter speeds will be necessary, but there is only so fast that a camera can go.  This is where these tips come in handy, so you can come home from the beach, or any bright location, with a memory card full of great images you will not be able to wait to share!

You can't control the weather.  It can be very tricky shooting on a sunny day since you have no control of on coming clouds that can over or under expose a shot depending on your settings, flash, shadows cast by hats, noses, etc.  It may require for you to constantly adjust your shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.  There are no set rules to know a photo should come out, since it is your creative mind which should grant a photo praise or not.  Be open minded and don't get frustrated.  Use your creative instincts to make it work.  

Using fill flash can reduce the cast of shadows.  This may be a great tip to use if you are concentrating on portraits.  Fill flash can give a better depth of field to photos.  Of course it may not be completely necessary in most occasions.  Fill in flash really sets a boundary for every line in the photo, such as the boundaries of your arms, and silhouette.  Flash creates a sharper image. It's not necessary. For softer images flash may be avoided, but in bright situations, shade may be a huge image crasher.  (Image below is taken with no flash.  You can compare it to the image at the bottom of the post which is taken with flash in the shade.)

Photo taken at the beach.  No flash. 
50mm F1.4  4000f/ps F3.5
Luckily the hat cast a shadow on my face which allowed more features to escape being washed out by the sun like my arm is.  A small fragment of sunlight has gone through my hat onto my cheek, but I didn't find it to be any much of a nuisance.  Fill in flash may have created an equal lighting all over my body, evening out the shadow barriers and making everything flow together better. 
Use a lens hood. A lens hood helps reduce any glare that may be caused by the light. You can always just use your hand to block the light from the top of your lens if you choose not to buy a lens hood. Photos taken with a lens hood in use usually come our with vivid colors, and more saturation.  The lens hood can also act as a protective shield for your lens, whether its from a fingerprint or even something that may break the lens.

Use lens filters. Some photos can look washed out and monochrome.  Using a lens polarizer can help bring some color back into the photo.  It works almost like sunglasses for your lens. In turn the filter will allow less light into your lens and allow you to use slower shutter speeds and capture photos with vivid color.  Polarizers are used extensively in landscape photography, making blue skies appear their true vivid blue, when it may have lost some color through the normal process of light capturing of the lens itself.  Besides the obvious, a lens filter can help protect the lens.  If you are shooting at the beach, a lens filter can act as a protective barrier from any sand to get onto the lens and potentially scratching it. 

Take advantage of the shade. Shooting in the shade still gives you the bright surrounding, but enough darkness to lower your shutter speed, use flash to give a real 3 dimensional feel to the image, and no cast of shadows.  This also allows you to use your flash without the risk of coming out with a totally white frame.  This is most popular when shooting portraits.  Sharper images come out of using flash.

Photo shot in the shade on a sunny day using fill in flash.
18-105mm lens...can't remember the settings.

I hope you guys can find these tips as helpful as I have!



  1. Do you photopshop your images before posting them?

  2. im loving that last one , gorgeous as usual <3

  3. You look incredible in these pictures!!!!

  4. Thanks Hun, the tips are super helpful for beginners.

    You look pretty as usual in your pictures...

    Miami weather is great for this weekend..the sun light its just right! I have gave up on my nikons..and looking forward buying a Canon camera.

  5. Wow you look absolutely gorgeous on both of the pics...
    great quality as well xoxo

  6. Thx for the tips - I will surely study them as I'm experimenting with photography as well. Have some pics from 2 shoots on my blog. Would be great to get some pointers from you...

  7. very helpful thank you I love taking pictures

  8. I need to get one of your cameras ans skills..You take beautiful pics.


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