So you haven’t seen that uncle, dad, mom, friend, (insert anyone here), and they have come out to visit you.
It’s their last day with you and it’s a glorious sunny day and you decide to take a stroll along the waterfront.
All of a sudden it hits you like a tonne of bricks falling from a skyscraper.
You realize that you really would like a photo of them before they leave to go back home.
You didn’t take any photos of them all week and this is your last chance!
They don’t live anywhere near an ocean so they want to have their photo taken with the ocean in the background.
The photo is taken….
You head home….
The next day arrives and you see your uncle, dad, mom, friend, (insert anyone here) off at the airport.
What a fantastic visit you have had but it’s also a sad moment knowing it will be awhile before you see them again.
Luckily you have a wonderful photo of them by the water to remember them by right?
OH NO!….WHAT HAPPENED TO MY PHOTO??
In this particular case, although it was a great sunshine day as The Brady Bunch would call it, it was actually a horribly horrible day to take a shot like this.
See, in case you haven’t realized what is going on here, this photo was taken directly towards the sun. You can see the suns rays glaring off the surface of the water in the background.
So what does this mean?
NEVER…EVER…EVER…EVER…EVER!!!! try to take a photo of anything or anyone if the placement of your subject means that you have to shoot directly towards the sun.
Maybe the best way to explain this statement is from an overall lighting perspective when trying to take a photo of anything.
“If the lighting behind your subject is brighter than the lighting in front of your subject, you will always be taking a photo of a black object. Or, more easily put, your photo will never turn out.”
Have you ever taken an indoor photo of someone against a window in the background where there isn’t much light in the room? I’ll bet you have. AND…I’ll bet you were disappointed with the results. You can’t beat the sun my friend.
The brightest light in the universe is the sun. Don’t mess with it…it will ruin your family moment every time!!
So, whenever possible, shoot EVERYTHING with the sun behind your back. In general, if you always make sure that the sun is at your back, you can bet that your photos will turn out almost every time.
So now for the exception to the rule.
And you know there always is one.
If you are determined…
to shoot your subject…
with the sun at THEIR back instead of yours…
MAKE SURE THE LIGHT YOU PUT ON YOUR SUBJECT IS BRIGHTER THAN THE LIGHT BEHIND YOUR SUBJECT.
But now we are talking about having a lighting kit etc with you and really that’s not what this post is all about. This post is for all of you that just have your iPhone, consumer camera, or DSLR without all the extra lights you wouldn’t normally carry around with you.
So…if you remember this one simple rule, and it’s worth reiterating, almost 100% of the time you will have a successful photo.
“MAKE SURE THE LIGHT YOU PUT ON YOUR SUBJECT IS BRIGHTER THAN THE LIGHT BEHIND YOUR SUBJECT”
If you found this post helpful or if you would like to see more about this subject please comment below. I would love to hear from you.