Shooting midday tips?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by hammy, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. hammy

    hammy Member

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    I've never had much success with shooting while the sun is straight above, which I'm assuming that I'm not the only one. But sometimes I am forced to shoot only midday (events and concerts and such).

    I can't really think of anything to improve my shots during midday, except maybe use fill flash to fill in the shadows on faces ?

    Any tips or pointers I don't know about?

    Thanks.
     
  2. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Definitely fill flash can help, though better when you are slightly closer. I like midday shooting in some situations, because the extra contrast on some films can really be more intense; which I think might make hand held shooting work better (in theory; possibly only better because I feel better using this technique).

    You can also get a small folding reflector, instead of using fill flash. If you prefocus, or use autofocus, you can hold the camera in one hand (or tripod mount it), while holding the reflector in the other. It can also be used to fire your flash through the small reflector, and soften the light slightly.

    Other items that I use heavily in midday or intense sunlight are ND filters. I tend to want to shoot more wide open when using 35mm or medium format, and ND filters make that simpler. Otherwise, you need a camera with a very high shutter fast shutter speed, and really slow film. The only reason to do this is to avoid stopping down the lens, or avoid increasing DOF too much. Probably more of a style consideration.

    Definitely use a lens hood or compendium shade. Be aware of the direction of reflections off surfaces, and try to avoid having your subject squint too much. You can further use a reflector as a shade for your subject.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  3. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Infrared film can be a good mid-day option.
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Cut the film speed by 1 stop and the development time by %25. This will reduce the contrast and allow you to retain the shadow details as well as the highlights. If the light is really strong, cut film speed by 1.3 stops and development time by %33 for the same effect. You could also try using a compensating developer.

    - Randy
     
  5. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Is it a case of a specific subject you are forced to shoot at mid-day? Because I was going to suggest trying to look for things that actually look striking in midday sun, like some sculptures and architectural details, etc.
    But if you're forced to shoot certain things, please disregard - obviously that's a different story.

    Peter.
     
  6. edwardkaraa

    edwardkaraa Member

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    One thing I do is to shoot against the light. Since the sun is in a high position it doesn't cause too much flare and it produces nice highkey effects.
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    As far as shooting anytime goes, make you judgement on what you see. Expose and develop as you normally would for that lighting ratio that exists.
     
  8. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I have to shoot during mid-day alot for various reasons and this technique works really well.
     
  9. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi Hammy, if you have to photograph at midday and you can determine the location of the subject - try using open shade.
     
  10. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    As others have already said, double the exposure and underdevelope by 20-25%. It will not make the light an better but you will have detail in the shadows and the highlights will be better controlled.

    I also carry a 5in1 reflector or whatever they are called, I bought when I lost mine. Mine is huge and too big to fit in my Lowepro photo trekker, a drawback IMO. Get a small enough one you can carry.

    I also use the reflecter to create diffused light by removing the zipperd reflector and using its translucent material. Like a big softbox.

    Mine is an Impact 5 in 1 from B&H, I prefer using reflectors to flash when ever I can.

    Also you can use strong light to your advantage by position your subject against the light, you will loose the detail in the background but it will make for a more striking portrait.
     
  11. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Use an old lens. A friend of mine once did a series of pictures trying to capture the feeling of the midday sun in Provence (South of France). He used a really old Nikon F (I suppose from 1959 or so) which softened the contrast right off and gave a very interesting image quality. I am currently carrying (among other cameras) a Bessa L with a 1937 5 cm Elmar to see if I can get something similar. For concerts, though, fill-in flash may be the only answer (presumably flash in the daytime will not be as annoying for the artsits).

    Regards,

    David