Into the light

Digital Camera World - - 10 GOLDEN RULES OF SUMMER -

Want to test your photo skills, and gam­ble big? Go against the grain: shoot into the light Shoot­ing into the sun cre­ates some of the most dra­matic shots of sum­mer. The skill is in deal­ing with ex­po­sure in these back­lit scenes. With sun­sets, the an­swer to wait un­til the sun is as near the hori­zon as pos­si­ble, where its light trav­els through more of the earth’s at­mos­phere, cre­at­ing a softer, lower-con­trast scene.

An al­ter­na­tive is to go for a sil­hou­ette. For­get about try­ing to get the ex­po­sure right for the sub­ject: in­stead, set the ex­po­sure so that the sky is cor­rectly ex­posed, and the sub­ject be­comes a bold black out­line. The se­cret here is to choose your an­gle so the sub­ject is still recog­nis­able – a por­trait shot in pro­file tends to work bet­ter than one shot face-on.

With shots taken nearer the mid­dle of the day, shoot­ing into the sun can cre­ate a scene that seems to have too high a con­trast to be cap­tured suc­cess­fully with one ex­po­sure. A clever trick here is to take a high-key ap­proach and let ar­eas of the the image burn out, so that they have no de­tail. This bright, over­ex­posed ap­proach may seem to break all the rules – but it con­veys the warmth and bright­ness of a sum­mer’s day or a hot cli­mate.

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