High Noon Shooting
Mike Larson's Lesson on Difficult Light
Taking photos during the hours from about 11:00 am to 2:00 pm is considered to be the time better known to most photographers as “High Noon”, the hours that are considered most difficult to photograph in. Today, Mike Larson is going to show us several useful tips and practice shootings on just how to remedy the situation so photographers can be most effective with their shooting time. Larson takes the “no choice, no options” of high noon shooting and turns it in to a perfect problem solving light.
During the high noon hours the light from the sun is more direct and harsh, giving your subjects unpleasant shadows and leaving images flat or blown out. One option Larson suggests is to use a reflector to fill in the harsh shadows, it reflects sunlight back on to your subject and they are economical and easy to use. One thing a photographer should always be on the lookout for while shooting during midday hours is open shade. This will always prove to be very useful, as we learn from Larson. He further goes on to explain color temperature differences in light and the importance of correcting exposures by using a polarizing filter. Using a polarizing filter not only makes the sky darker, or bluer, but it also takes away light and reflections, allowing more saturated colors and a more overall pleasing image.
Paying attention to where shadows fall will solve most of your initial problems, such as where to place the subject, and which direction the light is coming from. Moving on however, most photographers tend to stick their subjects in open shade, while a contrasting over-exposed background distracts the image as a whole, but as Larson demonstrates, understanding contrast, subject placement and light diffusion and how to use them together will yield excellent results.