If you have to take a picture in the sun, how can you use the bright light to your advantage?  Often, our "working on the farm" shots need taken in the heat of the day–when we’re working.  Is there a way to do that right, or will all the pictures look bleached? –Barbara

Here are a few thoughts:

  • Check the metering mode on your camera. If mid-day shots are turning out overexposed sporadically, you might have the mode accidently set to Spot Metering. (Learn more about metering modes here.)
  • Stand with your back to the sun. You don’t have to deal with nearly so much contrast and the sky is always blue opposite the sun.
  • Use the high contrast to your advantage by looking for shapes you can accent by silhouetting them.
  • Use a lens hood to cut lens flare when shooting at an angle to the sun.
  • Buy a UV filter and/or a Polarizing filter to cut glare and reflection while saturating the sky.
  • Use post-processing software to lighten dark areas. I use Lightroom’s Fill Light ability all the time.

I was commissioned to take take pictures of my brother’s trophy tomato a few weeks ago, and the only time I had available was in the middle of the day. The shoot didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it would! If you meter correctly, think about your position in relation to the sun, and utilize shapes, you should still be able to come away with some good pictures.

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