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Tips & Tricks

Shoot Beautiful Photos in the Harsh Noon Sun | Lindsay Adler

By Hanssie on September 3rd 2014

It’s every photographer’s nightmare situation. Shooting at full sunlight in the middle of the day with not a tree or shady haven in sight. Of course, shooting in early morning and evening light gives you the yummy diluted goodness that we all love, but sometimes the option of shooting at those times is just not possible. For those times, don’t panic. The ever brilliant Lindsay Adler is here to share her vast wisdom in the following video clip made available to SLR Lounge from her recent Location Lighting 101 class on CreativeLive.

Watch the 17 Minute Video:


Shooting at High Noon Without Shade

Ideally, if you are shooting in this type of situation, you would have a diffuser so you can soften the light and eliminate the harsh dark shadows on their face. If you can’t use a diffuser, Lindsay recommends to turn your subjects’ backs to the sun and look for natural reflectors. You’ll also need to add some fill with an additional reflector to fill in the subject’s face.


Shooting At Noon With Shade

Lindsey then demonstrates shooting her model in open shade. She again uses a reflector to add light to improve the “color, quality and direction of light.” Ideally, while shooting at high noon, you would look for covered shade – like a porch, or doorway. If you don’t have a reflector or a diffuser, Lindsay gives her tip on how to make your own shade by “sandwiching the light” with some $4 foam boards.


The video is just a snippet of Lindsay’s 44 video class, which you can find here. For info on shooting engagement portraits of couples in Natural Light, be sure to check out the SLR Lounge Natural Light Workshop DVD that has many more tips on using the brightest light source available to us photographers to our advantage.

For more info on Lindsay Adler, check out her website and also her appearance on Photo Week 2014!



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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar


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  2. Christine Einarsson

    Lindsay Adler is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) photography instructor on natural light. She is just amazing

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  3. Dre Rolle

    Great lecture, Love how she shows how to get great portraits on a budget. Broke college students everywhere thank you :)

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  4. Chuck Eggen

    I tuned in to her class on Creative Live thinking I wouldn’t be there long but found her to be a very good instructor. If nothing else she did a great job explaining (and pitching) some of the new modifiers available.

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  5. Kurk Rouse

    I’m still looking for ways i can shoot in midday sunlight with out an assistant. It’s either use it to my advantage because i’ve learned that there is no such thing as bad bad light , it’s just how you use that might make it bad. Use a combo of ND filters and off camera flash or a shoot through parabolic umbrella on a light stand with sand bags. The last option would be a challenge it gets very windy out here. I really enjoyed her workshop on CL.

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  6. Randy Renfro

    Wonderful video! I have a shoot coming up that is early in the day. We will use some of these techniques during that time! Thanks!

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  7. Rafael Steffen

    Great article and very useful tips. Cliff Mautner is a great teacher on harsh light.

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  8. Austin Swenson

    I’ll definitely keep this in mind the next time I get someone who wants to shoot in really harsh conditions!

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  9. Wendell Fernandes

    Always love to see the minimal viable production of great images! Thanks for the share!

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