While we always bring our flashes, reflectors and other light modifiers to each shoot, there are still those situations where we have no other choice than to shoot in harsh sunlight without any light modifiers. Let’s face it, sometimes things are happening too fast to allow you to setup a flash, or pull out a reflector. In those situations, you simply have to shoot in the harsh sunlight so as not to miss a key moment.

However, shooting in harsh sunlight isn’t the end of the world, and most of the time, we can do a pretty good job of repairing and correcting the hard shadows in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) and Lightroom.

In this video tutorial, we are going to switch things up a bit and use ACR rather than Lightroom in preparation for the ACR guide that will be coming soon! But, just keep in mind, for those using Lightroom, all of these sliders and controls are exactly the same, simply laid out differently.

Now, it is important to note that in order for this technique to work well, you need to be shooting in RAW not JPEG. A JPEG image will not have enough tonal detail to be able to get the same results. In addition, you want to make sure your exposure isn’t too bright. You want to preserve as much highlight detail and shadow detail in your image. Which, in harsh sunlight, this may mean that you will be slightly underexposing the images.

Alright, let’s move on to the tutorial, enjoy!

Exercise File Download Links:

Note: These images have been provided to the SLR Lounge users curteousy of Lin and Jirsa Photography for educational purposes only. They may not be used in any other manner outside of these SLR Lounge learning videos without the express written consent of Lin and Jirsa Photography. Thank you.

Full RAW Exercise File (13MB) – This full RAW file will allow you to follow the tutorial while achieving the exact same results as shown.

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