Tip of the Day: Avoid Shooting in Direct Sunlight

One of the fastest ways to improve your shots is to be careful of the quality of light falling upon your subject.
For example, look at the shots below:
Even though both the shots are of the same location, the second shot looks much better.
That’s because it has been shot during the evening, when the light is soft. The first shot looks bad because it has been shot during the afternoon, when the light is harsh.
Hard light leaves a lot of unpleasant looking shadows and makes the parts on which it is falling upon look very bright.
During the evening, the soft light makes for very even lighting, which makes the shot look good.
The same can be seen when you shoot portraits. Look at the two shots below:

You can see that in the first shot, the hard light is having a very unpleasant effect on the model’s face and body. This is because the sun is directly falling upon her body.

 

To rectify this, I’ve just asked her to take a couple of steps forward so that she comes under shade. Shade makes for pleasant and even lighting and you can see it has immediately improved out portrait.
So always avoid hard light whether you are shooting landscapes or people by shooting during early morning/evening times or finding shade.
If you want to learn more ways of avoiding hard light, then check out our free e-book Photography for Beginners (E-book with Videos): The Easiest Way to Learn DSLR Photography from the Comfort of Your Home  where we extensively discuss all this in the portrait section.