Shoot Great Travel & Nature Photos Under Harsh Sun (VIDEO)

There’s a popular misconception among novice photographers that bright, sunny days are the best time to capture outdoor scenes, but more experienced shooters know better. We all have to deal with prevailing conditions in the field, and today’s tutorial will help you maker better images under harsh sunny light.

We typically turn to British photographer Darrell Oakden for expert tips on making images of birds, but today’s episode is targeted at landscape photographers who confront less-than-ideal light. In this behind-the scenes video, Oakden offers some great tips while visiting Thor’s Cave in England’s picturesque Peak District.

As Oakden explains, making great images under bright, sunny conditions is a more difficult task than shooting photos during Golden Hour when the sun is near the horizon. In the video below, Oakden demonstrates several techniques to help you make the most of harsh, contrasty light.

Oakden’s first tip may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked, which is to find a shaded area under a tree canopy and shoot from there. He employs this technique with an ND filter on his lens, to capture an artistic image at streamside using a slow shutter speed for a moody effect.

You’ll also see how to create depth in an image by waiting for a cloud to pass in front of the sun. Another trick on bright, sunny days is to photograph interesting patterns that result with dark shadows on the ground. 

Oakden’s other tips include how to take advantage of high contrast scenes, converting images to b&w for a more dramatic effect, composing a shot without the sun in the frame, and much more. So take a look and make harsh light your friend.

You can find more helpful tips on Oakden’s YouTube channel, and in the tutorial we posted recently, explaining how to use high ISO settings for landscape photos and eliminate noise.