Let There Be Light!: The Top Tips for Shooting in Bright Light

Are you looking to take photos in bright light? Read this guide to learn how it’s done.

Taking photos outside?

You probably end up with either washed out shots or spots from the breaks between leaves because you’re looking for shade under a tree.

You can avoid all that if you know the right settings for your camera. Make sure that you spend some time getting to know your tools, and then you can follow these top tips for shooting in bright light.

1. Control the Color

You can use the settings on your camera to help make the subjects look less washed out. It gives your photos richer colors and evens out the reflections.

Use a filter like the polarizing filter or the neutral density filter to help deal with direct sunlight or other bright lights. This makes the colors in the photo more vibrant and less faded in the glare.

2. Reflect or Fill In Light

You can use a fill flash to make shadows disappear. If you don’t like doing that, or don’t have the right equipment for the event, you can try reflectors to accomplish the same thing.

This helps get rid of shadows and make the exposure on your subjects’ faces match the background’s exposure. It also gives you great photos worthy of your stickers, logo, and other business materials, in spite of the bright light.

If flashes and reflectors aren’t your style, find a location where the background exposure already matches the subjects’ skin exposure. You can accomplish this by putting the subjects at an angle to the sun so that their faces are shaded.

3. Shield the Lens When Shooting In Bright Light

You can use your hand to shield the lens from the bright light while shooting. It’s the same way you’d wear a ball cap to help when you’re outside, or you would use your hand to see better if you don’t have a ball cap. Use your hand to shield the lens and get the same effect.

If you’re willing to invest a little money, you can keep both your hands free. Buy a lens hood to attach to the camera, and it will shield the lens for you. Then your Instagram followers will love the soft features on all work you post.

4. Shoot In Manual

Your camera thinks it knows what it’s doing, but it really needs your help. Get used to the settings on your camera and what they do, because you can do a lot with them. Try widening your aperture to soften faces (but make sure you have a really sharp focus because it’s easy to get blurry photos this way).

You can also use spot metering, which only chooses a small part of the photo and exposes for that place, rather than trying to expose for the whole thing. The same way this technique works for rainy photos that have both light and dark areas, it works for bright sunlight as well.

Let There Be Light

If you’re taking photos in bright light, use our top tips to help you get quality photographs you can be proud of. Instead of avoiding the harsh light (which is impossible sometimes in the photography business), control the color and fill in the light.

You can also shield your lens and use the settings in manual mode to help you get the right outcome.

Check out all our print products to help show off your bright light photos.