I love a sunny winter day. Here are some of my favorite sunny day photo tips.
I know, you know: photography is all about creating with light. But, don’t forget that light creates shadow. Sometimes its fun to give shadows center stage.
My girls were super bundled up for this single-digit winter hike. You could barely see their faces and the bright sun was creating deep shadows. From behind the shadows help us feel the cold and get a peek into this moment of sisterly connection.
This is from spring a few years back and Sweet Silva Bear is no longer with us. I love the way the bright light and long shadows next to the barely green grass transport me to an early spring day.
Next time you are hanging out while your kids play outside, experiment with photos that give their shadows lots of space. And remember that photos from behind are often reflective of our role as parents: letting our children explore, knowing we are right behind them, if, and when, they need us.
Freezing action requires a really fast shutter speed. On a bright sunny day, set your shutter speed to 1/800 s or even faster and capture some action.
Willow is 8 months old and we are all about fetch around here lately. I set my shutter speed to 1/1250 to freeze Willow and the ball in mid-air while my son played with her.
Both of these bike photos were shot at 1/1000 s on a sunny day. I love the shadows of the bikes as well as the way the motion of spring and summer is frozen in time.
Sunny days are the time to photograph big kids (of all ages!!) on their bikes, dogs playing fetch, or a baseball in midair. These fast situations are easiest to capture when Mother Nature provides lots of natural light.
Blue Sky included
Most of the time I backlight my subjects. That means I shoot into the sun. However, when the sky is really blue, it can be fun to turn around and put the sun at your back. This will let you capture the Big Blue Sky!
Notice how the sun is shining on my daughter’s back? It’s not my favoriting lighting, especially for portraits. But, we get that Bluebird Winter Sky. I had to get down low to take this one. As I mentioned in my post about Winter Photography, rugged winter wear is key to fun winter photos.
This was taken on one of those October days when Vermont was in full-on show off mode. This trick works at any time of year.
Next time there is a gorgeous blue sky, find a wide open space. Then let the kids play in the foreground and let your creative side play.
A Note about Faces
Shadows on bright sunny days can be really unflattering and distracting on faces. I rarely (as in, basically never) photograph faces in direct sun. If you want a portrait on a sunny day, find some shade first.