Avoiding Your Picture Problems This Summer
Summer just isn't summer if you don't have a collection of photographs at the end to reflect upon. But have you ever had your hopes dashed by the glare of sunlight obscuring somebody's face or reflections from passing cars ruining the lighting of your photo? You're not alone on this, summer can be the best time for photographers but the sun that we depend on so much can often be our worst enemy.
Setting for Sun
A good guideline to stick by for those without access to a light meter is the ‘Sunny 16’ rule. It is a general outline for the camera settings suitable for strong sunlight. No matter what your camera or film, set the aperture to f/16 and alter your shutter speed depending upon the type of film you're using:
ISO 100 film will set to 1/100 - ISO 200 will set to 1/200 - ISO 400 will set to 1/400
Easy to remember, right? Well don't forget it and you should be able to avoid most of your problems.
Making The Most Of Colour
Summer is a fantastic time to be taking pictures, the spectrum of light is at its widest and the colours jump out from the landscape. Flowers that have bloomed in spring are fully in the maturity of their hues, any natural photography should be executed in early morning or late afternoon. The angle of sun will give you the best arc, a harsh midday sun can wash out some of the incredible colours. The only way to combat this is to use a tinted filter but you will lose the energy of the summer light.
Flash in Sunlight?
If you're going to be taking portraits or close-ups, you might want to consider bringing your flash with you. The sunlight may well be an excellent help, but it can also provide you with the biggest shadow problems at the hight of summer. Using a flash will eliminate the nagging issues of where to position yourself and the subject, you don't want to sacrifice on your background.
Subjects wearing glasses can be difficult to capture with strong sunlight. Sometimes taking glasses off won't be an option, so you only have two options open to you to prevent a jarring reflection. Firstly, have the person turn twenty degrees to the right or left; so that they're not facing the camera exactly. If you pay attention to how the glasses are acting, this can often prevent a reflection. But if you want a close-up or a face-on shot, your only option will be to lower the glasses on the bridge of their nose. Try lowering them by a couple of centimetres, and needless to say avoid that pop-up flash.
Sometimes the sun just doesn't play ball with cameras modern or traditional, but hopefully you'll be able to tackle most of the problems by following the steps outlined above. Good Luck and Happy Snapping!