Most tutorials advise photographers not to shoot photos at noon. The sun is harsh and doesn’t flatter subjects. While it’s certainly not the most desirable time for a photo shoot, with the right approach you can still get great shots in the middle of the day.
Shooting in Shade
It’s not necessary to shoot directly in the sunlight. Find some shade—maybe there are some trees or a building nearby—that will provide some shade. On top of the light being more flattering, your subjects will be more comfortable in shade and out of the sun glare and heat.
You will have to keep in mind the direction from which the sunlight is falling on your subject. Are there excessive shadows below the eyes? Is the area under the chin completely dark? Feel free to use a flash to fill in shadows.
Another trick is to use reflectors to reflect the sunlight to shadow areas. You can use a white cloth, a plastic sheet or thermocol sheets. Whatever you use, the aim is to avoid dark shadows on subject’s face.
Extra care must be taken when shooting below trees. With wind continuously shaking and moving the branches, the sun light that falls on your subject will vary. The subjects will invariably have checkered light formations on them.
Investing in a set of diffusers is good value for your money. Diffusers, as the name implies, diffuse the sunlight, so that there are no harsh shadows on your subject. Depending on your project requirements and budget, you have your choices of a wide range of commercially available or homemade diffusers.
You can easily make diffuser by stitching a pure white cloth or bed sheet over a metal or wooden frame. You will of course, require the assistance of a friend to hold the diffuser between the sun and your subject.
The best diffuser is provided free by nature: clouds. Some of the best photographs are taken in overcast or cloudy conditions. Clouds turn the sky into a giant, diffused softbox.
The aim of a good photographer is to ensure photographs that are as perfect as possible and eliminate the unpleasant effects caused by shooting during midday, when there is no other option. Feel free to experiment with the tricks given in this article as well as your own. You can always come up with your own unique style and create some masterpieces.