This sunny weather is fantastic but it doesn’t half make photography tricky! Have a look at a few of my simples DO’S and DON’T’S of sunny day photography.
DO… Use your flash if the sun is high in the sky when photographing people who are in direct sunlight. Chances are they will have dark shadows across their faces which will look even darker on the photograph. make your flash fire by popping it up or switching it to “Forced flash on” depending on your camera type. (Don’t forget to switch the flash off afterwards as your next shot might not need it). In the shot of Abbie and Sam on the statue at Kew I used the flash.
DON’T… make your subjects squint into the sun. Get them to turn sideways slightly.
Do… look for shady areas – umbrellas, shade of a tree etc and get your subjects to pose in the shade. You don’t need the flash for this and your pictures will look very natural. In the ice cream pic and the tunnel one the kids are in natural shade and the light is nice and even.
DO… take photos in the late afternoon / early evening (or early morning if you’re mad as it would have to be about 6am currently!), as the light is fantastic – the sun is lower down and the shadows are less harsh. In the photo of Abbie on the beach it was late afternoon – you can tell from her longer shadow. No flash was required and the colours are lovely and saturated.
Although mid-day can be a tricky time for portraits DO take landscape shots as the blue sky / green grass / azure seas etc lend themselves to picture postcard shots – no flash required and make sure your horizon is straight. Many cameras have a grid display on the LCD viewer that you can switch on, or you can straighten the shot up easily in PICASA and other software.
So, go enjoy the sunshine, put your suncream on and try out all these techniques. Meanwhile I’ll be mostly found in my hammock with a chilled glass of wine!
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By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!

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