Harsh Light – Make the most of it

Harsh light is not the best for photography, but what happens when you don’t have much choice? I think it is better to take photos any time of day is better than to take none at all.  And also it depends on your location. I, for example, live in Ecuador, living close to the equator which means the light is harsh most of the time, even more so around midday.  And it also means that sunset and sunrise (I don’t enjoy getting up) are really quick, often only a few minutes long so if you are not quick enough you have missed you photo opportunity altogether.

So what what are your best options if harsh light are when you take photos. This really depends on what your subject is. I take mainly landscape photos rather than portraits so it is difficult to say find some shade for your model/s.

Harsh light
Harsh Light, Harsh Landscape.

You could use a polarizer, this will enhance the blue in the sky. Personally I do not own a polarizer, I might buy one some day, but right now the budget for a decent one just doesn’t allow for it. But here in Ecuador when the sky is blue, the sky is intense blue.  The above photo was taken in the Cotopaxi National Park, one of my favourite places to visit, at 11.30 AM, here I think the harsh light adds to the photo as it enhances the harsh landscape.

El Boliche
harsh sunlight through the trees

Try and photograph your subject in the shade, again, not always the best option, the above photo was taken at 1 PM this time, the sun glows through the trees and they also create shade.

A traditional chagra

I could hardly ask the organizers of the event to change the time of day just because the midday light is harsh. Embrace the light you have and enjoy it. Photo taken at 1.40 PM