Into the light
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.