It’s not a secret that the best time for outdoor photography is the “golden hour”, or the time just after sunrise or before sunset, when the sun is low and the light is soft and shadows are long. At noon, on the contrary, the light is harsh and strong, the contrast between light and shadow is at its maximum and everything around looks flat. While middays are usually best for scouting the locations to photograph later, we don’t always have this possibility when traveling. Here are 7 ideas on how to make the most out of photographing under the midday sun and get exciting travel photographs.
1. Underexpose rather than overexpose
At noon on a sunny day, contrast is very high: shadows get very dark, while highlights can be easily blown out. While our eyes are quite good at adapting to various kinds of lighting, camera meters don’t work the same. It is therefore crucial to constantly keep an eye on the main settings, such as low ISO number, aperture and shutter speed, to make sure they are not at their extreme numbers. To keep your exposure on a safe side, underexpose your images slightly using exposure compensation (-). You can always add more light to the darker areas in post-processing, however, recovering blown-out highlights is usually a trickier task. To make it completely safe, use bracketing and choose the best image later.