A lot of photographers are scared to shoot outside during midday and cringe at the sight of harsh shadows. The amount of soft light photography rules out there can leave you drowning with a lack of creativity, well I say break the rules and embrace the shadows and harsh light! Here are some tips and tricks I use when shooting in harsh light.
- Subject Angle
Every subject is different, but they all have their own shapes. Have you subject move around and watch how the highlights and shadows play on them. You’ll find that sweet spot that not only creates depth and interest, but can actually make your subject look more defined.
2. Embracing Harsh Shadows
Sometimes soft light can get boring, an edgy way to mix things up is to embrace the harsh shadows. Think of all those old noir films where less is more, sometimes the absence of light is the mystery behind a photo.
3. Creative Shadows
Another trick photographers have been using for years is creative shadows. Even studio photographer would get cardboard and cut interesting shapes in it and shoot their lights trough them. Keep your eye out for interesting shapes and lines being created through different objects.
4. Using Reflective Surfaces
Another useful tip is to find bright surfaces that reflect a lot of light. A trick I always use is putting my hand in front of me.. Stay with me here. You can find how soft light is or how strong the reflection is by placing your hand flat out in front of you and seeing how the light wraps around your hand.