Summer Sun In Spring

Summer Sun In Spring

What a week of great summer-like weather it’s been!

Most often as photographers we instinctively head for the relative safety and ease of working in the shade on strong, hard sunlit days, especially in midday and early afternoon when the sun is at it’s strongest and highest in the sky. Also with off camera flash becoming so fashionable and widely used, and in many cases with the flash power capable to overpower the sun, we can tend to pick our backgrounds at will with much lesser thought about the direction or quality of light from the sun which we already have in abundance. While the equipment and knowledge to do this is very useful and it’s a technique I employ often, on this occasion I was determined to use the light that was there from the sun first and foremost, think about backgrounds etc. and only use flash when absolutely necessary. I’ve studied some great work by photographers who use the power of sunlight to their advantage, so that’s what I wanted to do too.

While this blog is mainly about the technical use of light, the images wouldn’t be what they are without our brilliant model, Ria, the wonderful makeup by Catherine and expert hair styling by David Graham Hairdressing, both of Linen Green, Dungannon

All images were captured between 2pm and 5pm on an incredibly bright , sunny afternoon.


Careful consideration was given here for the strong backlight and the background. I had a series of these images. It’s impossible to take a bad picture of Ria, our model.


Similar to the lighting in the image above. I’ve wanted to use this patch of grass for ages and it was starting to get past its best now with new green growth of spring coming up through the golden dead grass.


Consistent with my theme for the day, to use the available light to full advantage. Exposure consideration for backlight and positioning of background were important here.


Considering my day was mostly about ambient light, I thought I’d change to my 1.4 lens as we walked through a shaded area.  I don’t often dip into the world of 1.4 natural light photography, though its popular.


Now this excites me much more! Hard light and drama in the picture. It’s never easy for a model facing into such bright, hard sunlight but with a bit of timing between Ria and I we managed it 🙂


The dappled light across the sandstone caught my eye, and I placed Ria in the shadow side to face the light. The daffodils hopefully add to the dappled spring-like cooler light.


And a more dramatic off-camera flash image to finish.






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