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Thread: Taking photos at noon

  1. #1
    Member Andrea1's Avatar
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    Taking photos at noon

    Just wondering if many of you try to avoid taking photos at midday?
    It's hard for me to be out at early morning or late afternoon, mostly the best opportunity for me to take photos is in the middle of the day when light is at its harshest.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Andrea

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    Yes, typically avoided

    What sort of subjects you want to shoot ?
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea1 View Post
    ...in the middle of the day when light is at its harshest...

    ...Any tips would be greatly appreciated...

    Andrea
    Andrea. What do you understand by this? At midday the sun has reached its zenith, that's about all. The sunlight changes - angle, hue - throughout the whole day. People in pictures can squint at the light almost any time, if it's them you want to photograph.

    But particularly for the next few months until next summer the sunlight at any time of the day will be fairly low anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea1 View Post
    Just wondering if many of you try to avoid taking photos at midday?
    My photography is all about the right light (I shoot seascapes/landscapes at dawn/dusk).

    Most of the day is completely unsuitable for photography as far as my visual sensibilities are concerned. I stick to the magic hours (ie, golden hour and blue hour), or complete darkness.

    The daylight for most of the day is harsh, as it bleaches colours, casts hard-edged shadows in undesirable places, doesn't reveal shape and form, and produces intense dynamic range which makes exposure very difficult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea1 View Post
    It's hard for me to be out at early morning or late afternoon, mostly the best opportunity for me to take photos is in the middle of the day when light is at its harshest.
    Unfortunately the best light is just not going to be there when you are.

    Good photography is all about the light, and the 'right' light is small in quantity and specific in its times of availability.

    What do you like to shoot?

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    Its all about trial and error

    Change angles, shooting height etc to compensate.

    good luck


    Wayne.




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    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    And don't forget a good quality circular polarizing filter

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    I know you will miss on getting any great colours from the sunrise. But, you can still get silky water movement by using some good netural density filter like a ND400.

    You can also use these filter with a flash to get some interesting images. It's all about trial and error.
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Personally, I think that the belief of not shooting in the mid part of the day to be overblown (sorry about the pun) . Many a great photo can be and have been accomplished during the middle of the day, it just depends on what you want to achieve and like to shoot.

    There are many photo ops that don't lend themselves to midday shooting but their are certainly many photo ops that do, just think of those beautiful tropical seascapes (and also the non tropical ones too) when using a polariser, or even a lovely sky where a polariser renders those lovely clouds so nicely.

    I think too many get caught up in the belief that there shouldn't be any blown out parts whatsoever or that in the shadows you should always be able to see every nuance of detail. This is just not realistic and in many cases not at all necessary and not every photo needs to be technically perfect in every aspect. I think there are some that think that you need to get every aspect perfect in some hope that there is no way that any part of it be criticised for any reason. Most of the time, the belief that you need to see every highlight detail and every shadow detail is just plain wrong and I think there are some that can get a little bit elitist about photography and miss out many opportunities for photography during the day.

    Personally, I think there is a lot of merit in many midday type photos, you just need to be careful about how you go about it and the judicious use of a polariser or a ND grad can have great effect on a photo.

    Whilst I am not saying these are the best of examples ( I am sure that people can post examples of midday type photos that are better), I still do believe that they are still pleasing and that taking the photo at another time of day is not always necessarily better, just different, and that they would be all be nice but they would all be nice in their own way.

    What I am getting at is that do not let the time of day dictate your pleasure or enjoyment of photography or stop you from getting out there and taking photos, just work with it and you will still get great results. Sometimes you just have no alternative, so just work with it. These were taken during the mid part of the day, say between 9am and 4pm because I had no alternative at the time, or I took them to give a different perspective, like the use of a polariser to bring out the water's colour, or clouds in the sky, or used an ND grad for balance, rather than try for the ubiquitous early morn/late afternoon so called "winner shot" that many of the perfectionists seem to think are the only acceptible type photos, and I still think they look good to me.









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    Thanks Guys

    I'm just finding that sometimes the light is too harsh, kids squint, skies are way too bright etc. Sometimes this adds to the mood of the photo and workks well but other times it's a mess!

    I'm certainly not looking for a technically perfect photo as some of the best photos i've seen haven't been this but have captured something very special and really draw you in, so much so that the technical aspect becomes unimportant (to me).

    I would like learn how to shoot in less kinder environments to give me less pics that i have to delete!

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    If you're shooting people during the harsh daylight hours, use fill-flash to reveal the eyes and reduce or eliminate the harsh facial shadows cast by overhead sunlight.

    Using a reflector (either photographic or makeshift, such as a white sheet) can also help in environments containing harsh sunlight.

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    I think Lance just made and showed a huge statement. I do photos at midday as well. I find if some of mine are blown out I go to B&W

    Here is a shot I did recently



    I liked this about your photo.......To improve on it you could........Well done and keep posting



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    Make sure the sun is behind the subject at all times

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Make sure the sun is behind the subject at all times
    Do you especially mean for people?

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Make sure the sun is behind the subject at all times
    ???
    ?m

    All this talk about the sun! It reminds me of "You are my Sunshine", but now qualified to "not around noontide".

    Well, at least there's "Good Morning Starshine".

    Anyway, for "the subject", do you really mean "you"?
    Last edited by ameerat42; 15-04-2012 at 7:32pm.

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    No doubt it is not a great time of the day and to be honest over the hotter months I avoid it due to heat ad harsh light here in Qld unless there is a storm about. However, this time of he yr the light looses its harshness I think an I often venture out at lunch time to take some photos, mostly street or par photography. Personally I think here is a time of day for each type of photo you may want to capture so if noon works go for it,if not there you go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Do you especially mean for people?
    Yes, for people. I wasn't very clear

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    Hi Andrea1
    I had until recently a similar opinion as some of the people posting here. I constantly avoided midday for taking pictures. With shooting primarily land- and seascape photos I was always on the hunt for the beautiful soft light during dawn or dusk. However every great photographer will tell you there is nothing as bad light. It just means you have to adjust your ideas of what and how to take pictures of.
    With that I bought myself a 10 stop neutral gradient filter which allows me to get exposure times of up to 2 min on a sunny day. Also I when I shoot at noon I usually photograph in b/w as the colours often look washed out. So they often don`t add anything to the scene. With this technique I have been able to take quite a few pictures around noon I`m reallt happy with. This also allowed me to see things differently and take pictures of a place I had taken plenty of pics before and they look completely different. It is as a whole new chapter of photography has opened for me and and I really enjoy now this time of the day. Just use your imagination and see of the hard light during the day can enhance the message of what you want to bring across with your photograph.

    Cheers
    Alohaey

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    [QUOTE=Andrea1;1008028]Thanks Guys

    I'm just finding that sometimes the light is too harsh, kids squint, skies are way too bright etc.

    I may be wrong here, but I see 2 main reasons for taking a photo.
    1) To record the moment, holidays, birthdays events etc. These HAVE to be recorded there & then, so you have to make the best out of the moment, then you need answers as requested.
    2) To take a photo for the image. In this one you choose the time the subject & you choose the mood. Then you can see the art & make the best pf what you see.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    Personally, I think that the belief of not shooting in the mid part of the day to be overblown (sorry about the pun) . ......
    I'm with Lance here!!

    I think it's a total phurfie to 'not shoot' at about midday.

    Sure landscapes generally tend to look more surreal, or softer during the most advantageous times of the day, but if you want to capture images of a harsh Aussie landscape, doing so early morning or later in the afternoon isn't really going to convey this feeling of harshness, is it.
    Having said that 99% of my images are shot at the advantageous hours anyhow.. but I have shot landscapes at midday with the purpose of revealing this Aussie harshness(usually in the SA deserts tho!).

    I usually avoid softer looking landscapes scenes(ie. non-barren scenes) at 'midday', UNLESS, I know I'm not going to get a chance to be in the area again for a long time(eg. 2000klms from home).

    It's all about equine mammals for courses, and you shoot at midday for a reason.

    Shooting humans at midday is a bit harsh tho, and best avoided if possible.
    Some good tips already given on how to approach these situations too.

    Also it must be noted that your location also determines how harsh the light is 'at noon'.

    The problem with this theory that you don't shoot at noon, is that when the sun is high in the sky, the light is harsh... but as your latitudinal position increases from the equator(ie. further south in Aus, or further north in the North)... the effect of the high in the sky harsh lighting of the sun diminishes.

    Take this theory to the extreme, imagine you are at the Antarctic circle at noon, in Winter.
    High noon will see the sun just skim the horizon, and any further south from here and you wont' see the sun at all for a few months anyhow.
    The theory that you don't shoot at noon completely falls to pieces at these lower(or higher) latitudes, and while the effect is not as striking in Aus, it still quite subtle during our winter(down here in the south), where a landscape scenes can be shot quite effectively at close to midday.

    Time of the year and location is also a dependency of this theory.
    The latitude effect is less helpful from NSW up to QLD, can be used to effect in Vic, and must surely work well for Tasmanians at least.
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