With Mother Nature bypassing spring and moving directly into summer, many shutterbugs have been able to get in some outdoor shots far sooner than expected.
Record high temperatures have been recorded from coast-to-coast this month, and there are no signs of a decline in sight. While the nice weather may have inspired you to document the first signs of spring or simply take some snaps of your child wearing a swimsuit in the middle of March, there are some factors you should keep in mind before pressing your camera’s shutter button:
Made in the Shade: The sun is the best source of natural light. However, when it is sitting directly overhead it can be a photographer’s worst enemy. It’s never a good idea to take photos at high noon, especially if you want to avoid harsh shadows and severe squinting. If you are forced to snap pictures in the mid-day sun, look for shade. Have your subject pose under a tree, an awning or in the shadow of a tall building. If you’re seeking shade under a tree, though, be warned, sometimes tree branches allow light to filter through causing your subject to look as though he has spots or stripes on his or her skin. If you find this happening to you, move your subject until he or she is completely in the shade before taking the picture.
Embrace Backlight: When shooting outdoors, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Sometimes you won’t be able to find shade. In those cases, the only way to salvage your shot is to use the sun as a backlight. To do so, position your subject so the sun is behind him, and then enable your camera’s flash. The flash should add just enough light to your subject’s faces to ensure he blends in with the natural light. If done correctly, you will be able to add a nice rim light effect around your subject and cause a halo effect around his hair.