How to Take Pictures in Bright Sunlight

Taking pictures in bright sunlight is something that’s tricky for all photographers. Bright sunlight is the worst type of light, because it’s harsh and casts some unattractive shadows on your subject. My best tip for taking pictures in bright sunlight, is to just not do it. That would be my number one tip, but a lot of times that’s just not an option. So in this article, we’ll go through three tips to make taking pictures in bright sunlight a bit more effective.

Bright Sunlight


Tip #1: Find Some Shade

Finding some shade against bright sunlight is a good way to get great images and avoid harsh light. This seems like a common sense tip, but it can work very well at getting you some awesome looking pictures. Putting your subject in the shade will keep them from the harsh light but still give you the ability to take advantage of the sunlight. Using the shade to cast shadows onto your subject makes for a really neat effect.

bright sunlight through shade


Tip #2: Mind Your Settings

The second tip for shooting in bright sunlight, is to be mindful of what settings you’re using. Typically what you’ll want to do when shooting in bright light, is to keep your ISO at 100 and adjust your shutter speed and aperture to match the look you’re going for. Understanding how aperture and shutter speed work together and managing those two will be important to getting good images. With the abundance of light in this situation, the wider an aperture you choose to shoot with (F/5.6 or less), the faster your shutter speed has to be to prevent blowing out your images.

bright sunlight camera settings


Tip #3: Use an ND Filter

The third and last tip for shooting in bright sunlight, is to utilize an ND filter on your lens. ND filters, also known as neutral density filters, are like sunglasses for your camera. An ND filter can be used to reduce the amount of light that comes into your lens during outdoor shooting. Reducing the amount of light, allows you to shoot at wider apertures without having to crank up your shutter speed.

bright sunlight filter

If you want to easily capture images with a shallow depth of field, you can use an ND filter to block out some of the excess light while still allowing you to maintain the shallow look you’re going for.

There are a lot of different brands and price ranges for ND filters. You’ll want to look for an ND filter that is not super expensive, but is still made from quality material. One of the better ND filters that I’ve found is the K&F Concept Variable ND Filter. This filter is made out of quality materials and delivers some great results for the price.


So if you’re looking to shoot pictures in bright sunlight, put these tips into action and give yourself the best chance to capture great images!



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