Today I want to talk about photography and shooting when the sun is out. I feel like there are so many myths and misconceptions when it comes to full sun photography. It's really not as scary as you think it is. You just need to consider where the sun is and how that can impact your photos. And then practice, practice, practice. The worst thing you can do is say, "It's too sunny. I'm not even going to bother bringing my camera."
If you search for tips on shooting in the sun, inevitably you'll be told to find or make shade. If you're shooting a posed portrait session, then, yes, by all means find or make some shade. I'm not implying you should plop people out in the sun for posed photos. However, if you're like me and you take a lot of documentary-type photographs of your family, finding or making shade isn't an option.
If you're taking photos of people, you'll want the sun to be behind them. This is a tough one I feel most have to learn by doing. If you take photos of people facing the sun, they're going to be squinting and the sun is going to create all types of unwanted shadows.
I always like to use the photo below as a good example of how to photograph a face in the sun.
How cute is this next one? It popped up on my FB memories the other day.
Keep the sun behind you and meter for the face. This takes practice as you don't want to blow out (overexpose) the background.
If your camera has a meter (and who is using a camera without a meter these days?), you don't need to follow the Sunny 16 Rule. What's the Sunny 16 Rule? This allows photographers to meter for correct exposure in daylight without using a light meter. Sixteen refers to your f stop. The thing is, your camera has a light meter. Doesn't it? So you don't need to use this. The Sunny 16 Rule still gets thrown around and can be confusing. You don't need to set your f stop to 16.
If you're photographing in the sun, think outside the box. You don't need to have your subject facing you and your subject can even be a shadow. That's okay. I tend to photograph the scene as a whole in these situations. Here are a few examples from this past summer when the sun was out in the middle of the day.
As always, if you aren't shooting in manual, try it out. Practice. You are smarter than your camera.