Shooting into the sun makes all the difference if you want more drama in a photo. When I first started taking photos, I LOVED the fact that I lived in one of the cloudiest cities of America. Overcast days were GREAT for a beginning portrait photographer because I never had to deal with harsh sun, shadows, etc. But as I progressed in understanding light, I began to see how much of a difference shooting into the sun makes. Check this Before and After photo example out!
Remember the election photo shoot we did for SONY a few months back? It was an overcast day, clouds everywhere, and this was one of my favorite flag photos. I loved the energy in it. But it also felt a little flat. However, I know the reason it feels flat is because there wasn’t any bright sun to shoot into.
Disney wanted us reshoot the kids in costume last month. And guess what? The sun was OUT! Oh yeah BABY! Check out this “after” photo of Pascaline with the flag, but this time the sun is bright and shining on the other side of the stars. What a difference, right?!
Same field, same tree line, same time of day, same sweet girl and same itchy costume. BUT, not the same sun.
DSLR Settings for all of you who LOVE em!
For the Before Photo with no sun: ISO was 400, Aperture was down at f/2.8 and Shutter Speed was 1/250 sec (250).
For the After Photo, check out what happens with the settings: ISO 100 (since I have a ton of bright light, I can use the lower ISO to get better color saturation and vividness). Aperture was still f/2.8 to soften the background. But Shutter Speed was 1/640 sec (640). With more light, I need my shutter speed to move faster.
Be Kind to Yourself
When you get done taking photos and feel disappointed with how “flat” they look, take a moment to identify where the sun is in your images. If it was an overcast day, you can’t get the golden light and vivid feel that a sunset will give. If it was a bright day, did you shoot into the sun to increase the drama? So many people tell me their photos are flat and wonder if it’s their camera or lack of creative ability. The sun has soooo much to do with it. Before the Fall is over, take out your camera, even smartphone, and play around with shooting into the sun.
I’ll show you some smartphone examples tomorrow! Yep, even an iPhone can give great results if you know how to dance with the sun!
Helpful? If yes, will you share/pin it?! Gracias!
p.s. So fun to read your comments on these blog posts. Missed our conversations here!