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How to Take Outdoor Portraits at Noon

In this article we will discuss about how to take outdoor portraits at Noon. Here’s the complete discussion about it:

Many people like to capture the wonderful moments of their life in photographs. Through these images, they try to relive those moments more often than not. Such emotional retrospection of yesteryears’ sweet memories gives renewed energy and keeps the soul ready to take on the harsh realities of present and future. World’s most famous portrait photographer Yusuf Karsh once told that the “mind and heart are the true lenses of a camera.”

We take the photos without gaining much training on how to use the light and angle. Due to this amateurish approach, several photos become blurred, disoriented and bleak. It is a general perception amongst many amateur photographers that the bright Sun light would make the photos to look great. But, in reality, blazing sunlight is not so friendly with the camera and its lenses. The Sun at mid day would come down very harshly on the faces by creating awful silhouettes of nose or by throwing the bright eyes into awkward-looking black holes created by the shadows. This bad effect of broad daylight is usually called as ‘raccoon eyes.’

We know that the weather is not made-to-order stuff and hence a different strategy is required for avoiding bright sun spoiling the image. This is a small guide that helps the enthusiasts to take excellent portraits during mid day. By following these simple steps, one can definitely improve the picture quality.

The best way to avoid the effect of harsh day light is to take the portraits during early or late portion of the day. During these two periods the light would be less harsh than the broad noon light. But sometimes you may have lucky encounter with an exciting moment only on a shiny summer mid day. You can deceive the Sun in the following ways.

  • If you cannot avoid the bright Sun completely, beat the sunshine by making the object in such way that it is having the complete shadow on it.
  • As you are trying to take portrait, ensure that the person tilts his/her head slightly such that the complete face is covered under shadow of its own.
  • But this might create a tussle between the light and shadow. To avoid the impact of shadow, use the pop-up flash of your camera.
  • This flash should be able to fill up the gap built up between the light and shadow. In other words, the deep impact of the shadow would be lightened up by the flash.
  •  Otherwise, if you are having advanced apparatus like Reflector, use it to pass as much light as required on to the face of the person.
  • Alternatively, make the object to face a big white wall wherein the white wall works wonderfully to diffuse the effect of harsh noon light.
  • On the technical front, using a wider aperture can help in taking portraits during bright, shiny noon.
  • If you do not have the specialized equipments that are mentioned above, do not worry. You can make a best use of your compact cameras that are having 3x+ zoom lens. It must have a built-in flash and preview option.
  • Choose a compact camera that has portrait mode. Use the face recognition mode and image stabilization features to your advantage.

The above would help anyone to take best portraits during noon with minimal effort.


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