Taking photographs in direct sunlight can be a difficult job for many event photographers. But sometimes, it just cannot be avoided, especially when the situation calls for it.
Therefore, it’s best to have a few useful tricks up your sleeve to make the best use of the sunlight when you have to shoot in it. This post can help.
When shooting event photographs in the sun, metering is the first thing you will have to consider.
If you are shooting in a mode that meters the entire frame or the portion of the frame where the sun is, your camera’s going to underexpose the shot. In some cases, underexposed shots may work out well, as it is easier to recover shadows than blown highlights during post-processing.
However, we would still recommend you to adjust your exposure compensation to the positives (+.7 or +1).
2. Set up your equipment in the shade
If there’s any shade around, use it to your advantage.
If this is not possible, create your own shade by bringing sun-blocking objects like a reflector, umbrella, or large sheet or cards.
3. Deal with lens flare
If you are shooting towards the sun, you may have to deal with a certain degree of lens flare.
Now, lens flares are a bit tricky to deal with. They can act as a major part of your distraction provided you know how to creatively use one to your advantage.
Flare in some event photographs can be fine, and can actually add to a scene, when done well. But then, the problem is the amount of flare you get in your photographs is never under your control.
We would, therefore, suggest you to take the photograph, review it, and adjust it (if required).
4. Use a filter
Sometimes a filter can easily be the answer to your problem.
The ideal filter in your situation depends on a number of factors, including your budget, the type of lenses you have, and your willingness to involve in post processing work on photo editing tools like GIMP, Photoshop, etc.
Neutral density or polarizing filters may come in handy in direct sunlight since both of them can help in cutting down the light getting into your camera, allowing you to use small apertures and slow shutter speeds.
5. Shoot from an angle
Do not shoot haphazard event photographs in direct sunlight.
To get the subdued effect of the overcast sky, take the trouble to ensure that the sun is not directly hitting your subjects. Before the set-up, know the location of your subjects well to determine the best possible angles. And don’t forget to avoid throwing your own shadow on your subjects while taking the shot.
6. Shoot with a wide open aperture
While shooting event photographs in the sun, show with a wide open aperture. This can give your snapshots a very dramatic and aesthetically pleasing look.
Well, it’s a bit difficult to say why this actually looks good, but it just does.
7. Last but never the least, shoot during certain times of the day
The sun is at its highest at noon. And then, it continues to be at its peak until early into the evening.
Your aim should be to avoid the sun’s harsh rays by taking photographs early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
A final word…
Having trouble hiring the right photographer for your outdoor corporate event? You could even ask your venue for an in-house photographer.
In certain cases, they may be willing to shoot your event and do social promotions in exchange for a bit of branding from your company’s end. In case you have to pay them extra, the charges may be worth it because no one would know the space better than the venue photographers.
With that, we’ll sign off finally for the day. Hope you had a great read.