Simple Tips for Creating Better Photographs in Harsh Light

Photographing when the sun is at its highest point in the sky is rarely desirable, but there are certainly times and places where it can make for great images. Here are some tips for that less popular time of day.

There is a lot of focus put upon the golden hours, particularly in landscape photography. This is for good reason, of course; the light is warmer, softer, and creating interesting shadows to name a few. However, that isn't to say that the time between these golden hours is merely a write-off. There are myriad tips for photographing landscapes when the sun is in its early or late stages, but here, Nigel Danson talks you through how to shoot that hard, mid-afternoon light.

I have been on a number of shoots where I didn't have control over when we would be taking photos. This has happened for every kind of shoot, from portraiture for magazines, to reviews of test equipment while traveling. It's certainly tricky to get traditionally aesthetic images, but if you take a different approach, you can be rewarded. Typically, I would take one of three approaches: I would look for areas of interest the light was hitting, I would look for contrast and shoot black and white, or I would look for somewhere the light is being diffused or dappled in some way.

Do you go out with your camera when the light is at its harshest? What sort of shots do you aim for and can you share any tips?

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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