How to Take Better Photographs: Beginner Tips For Full Sun Photography #2

Okay all you point and shooters out there – today is the day! You finally get to break out that camera manual! I know you are all filled with joy and anticipation… Or not… 😉 Please don’t panic! I’m gonna keep it super simple and I’m confident that you can do this! My first tip outlined how finding shade is essential for better point and shoot photographs and my secound post showed you how easy it is to take a creative silhouette in full sun. Now I know that both of these tips were camera manual free, however, today you will need to read just one itty-bitty little section of your manual – I promise this mini read will be SO worth it!0004 Sometimes it’s impossible to fully get out of the sun or maybe a silhouette isn’t really what you’re going for…  What then? Well actually, you basically set up your shot like a silhouette but this time you will fill in the light so that your subject doesn’t go dark. (See pic above.) There are two ways of doing this: using your flash to fill in light or overexposing. Now I’ve never been a flash girl… that’s not to say that flashes are bad – they are not – it’s just a personal preference on my part.  I use flashes when necessary and I do plan to post a few basic flash lessons but, in this case I want to teach you an easy way to just overexpose your picture. Overexposing simply means adding light. IMG_0015 Most cameras nowadays have the settings pictured above. What I want you to note is the ‘P’ setting. This is your “Program Mode’ – it’s almost exactly the same as your “Auto Mode” but with a few useful perks. IMG_0031 The “P” mode allows you to use something called your “Exposure Compensation”. (I circled what it looks like above in red.) Exposure Compensation lets you add light and take away light, hence the + and – signs at each end. It’s a simple automatic tool that changes your shutter and aperture speeds for you. (This tool is best used in outdoor lighting situations.) Okay are you ready? The time has come  – please take out your camera and your camera manual. You need to find the “P” mode and then also find your “Exposure Compensation” instructions.  Set your camera in “P” mode and spend a moment figuring out how to dial the + and – for your “Exposure Compensation”.  It should be a pretty quick read. Now that you know this one simple tool on your camera you can easily overexpose and add light to your full sun pictures.  Frame your shot with the sun fully behind your subject (just like doing a silhouette) and dial the Exposure Compensation up a notch on the + side.  (Remember – the + sign side is for adding light (brighter), the – sign side is for taking away light (darker).) Try the shot and if your subject is still looks too dark dial up the + sign side up more until you finally get the look you want. One of the fun perks to putting the sun fully behind you subject and then overexposing is the pretty glow or halo effect around the subject. m_jensen_sept_2011_0035 stacy_robbins_oct_10_0003 s-z-deal_june_11_0001 0020_c_jaggers_aug_09 Thanks again for checking this out – I’m so glad you stopped by – I’ll see ya next Wednesday when I’m back with another full sun tip! Oh and be sure to send me any questions you have – I’d love to hear from you – especially if my instructions are confusing. 🙂

6 thoughts on “How to Take Better Photographs: Beginner Tips For Full Sun Photography #2

  1. Thank you for the tips – I still take cruddy photos. I’m learning bit by bit. Being an artist of sorts, I should know better. I never have the patience to read any manuals and go through many bad results before trying a different approach. Thanks for trying to help.
    beautiful shots by the way 🙂

  2. Pingback: How to Take Better Photographs For Beginners : Taking Creative Photographs Indoors | Mish Mash

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