Where Should The Sun Be When Taking Pictures? (Position Of Light In Photography)

Whether you’re a fan of capturing captivating imagery at “golden hour” or you enjoy nothing more than taking landscape photography in the sunshine, we’re sure that you might agree when we say that it can be difficult to understand where the light should be positioned.

Where Should The Sun Be When Taking Pictures? (Position Of Light In Photography)

If you’re currently in this boat, then rest assured that you have clicked on the right article.

In this guide, we are going to be talking about the main photography rules that you’re going to want to implement while photographing in the sunshine! When you’re ready, let’s begin.

When Taking Pictures, Where Should the Sun be Positioned?

Regardless of whether you’re a longtime photographer or you’re just recently gotten into the world of photography – one of the biggest problems that you might find yourself facing is the light of the sun.

Even though the sun can help to create beautifully lit, vibrant imagery, shooting in the sun can also result in images that are full of shadows. Not to mention, the exposure being totally wrong.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the position of the sun. and how you use it in your imagery. Generally speaking, there aren’t any “rules” to follow when it comes to shooting in the direct sun.

However, if you want to make sure that you are able to take natural pictures that are professional in quality, you should make sure that you should with the sun behind you. To explain this in more detail, let’s go ahead and move on to our next section.

Top Tips For Shooting In The Sun

There are a few different tips and tricks that you can follow to help make sure that you get high quality, professional level images. Let’s have a look:

1. Shoot With The Sun Behind The Subject

One of the best ways to ensure that you are able to take great photos in the sunshine is to make sure that you are only shooting subjects with the sun behind them.

By making sure that the position of the light is situated towards the back of the subject, it means that the subject will be illuminated, well lit and clear to see in the photos you take.

While there are other ways that you can angle the position of light for stylistic purposes, opting to shoot with the sun behind the subject you are focusing on is the best for getting natural and professional imagery.

In particular, many photographers widely agree that this is the best for landscape photography, as positioning the light behind the subject will allow you to capture breathtaking images with blue skies.

Keep in mind, if you are planning to take portrait photos with the light of the sun positioned behind the subject, you are going to need to make sure that your shadow isn’t getting into the frame and potentially ruining the shot!

You can easily prevent this by angling your body carefully so that it is out of the shot.

Top Tip: If you are shooting portrait photos and your subjects are struggling to keep their eyes open from the brightness of the sun, you can always consider moving to an area that has some shade.

2. Manually Adjust Image Exposure

Even though it’s recommended to shoot with the sun behind you, sometimes this might not always be possible.

So, another way that you can help to make sure that you get great pictures while shooting in the sun is to make sure that you have optimized the exposure in your camera or smartphone.

If you’re going to be using your phone to take photos in the sun, start by tapping the screen of your phone to bring it into focus.

Then, after you have done this, you can then go ahead and swipe upward to reveal the various photography features, tap on the exposure and manually drag it until the exposure is to your desired level.

Alternatively, if you are going to be shooting from your camera, you can set your camera to the “auto” function, which will automatically adjust the camera’s settings to work with the lighting conditions.

Alternatively, if you want to do it yourself, you will also have the option of being able to manually adjust the settings, although we only recommend doing this if you are experienced with photography.

3. Angle The Light To One Side

Like we’ve already said, there aren’t any real rules to follow when it comes to shooting in the sunlight.

Even though it’s often recommended that you place the subject in front of the light, you can also consider experimenting with the positioning of the light in other ways, such as angling it to the side of the subject, as well.

Opting to shoot with the sun to the side of the subject can add more visual interest and complexity to the image, as the sunlight won’t be evenly distributed over the subject.

This can help to make the lighting appear more interesting and exciting to look at, all while bringing more depth to the image as a whole.

This is because there will be both light and shadow in the image, which can help make the picture more interesting to look at.

The Bottom Line

All in all? When it comes to shooting in the sun, you’re going to want to make sure that you are angling the light so that it is either directly behind the subject or towards the side of it.

This will help to achieve the highest quality imagery that will be well lit and vibrant. Of course, this can certainly be easier said than done.

So, by following the tips that we have shared with you above, we’re sure that you will be able to take professional and well lit photography while out in the sun. Thank you for reading!

Laura McNeill
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