Saturday, May 31, 2014

Taking photos against the Sun? Here are some tips to work around the situation.

Ask anyone and most people say that you keep the Sun on your back to take good photos. That is true because the Sun can brighten up the subject so you can take nicely exposed bright photos. However sometimes it is not possible. You can not move the Sun, right? And many times it is not possible for us to move to bring the Sun behind us. What do you do in such situations? Many of us will blame the situation, or the camera.
I had a similar situation when I visited Disneyland in California a few days ago. I was in the Tomorrowland and wanted to take a photo of the top of the Rocket ride while standing in a line for some other ride. Top of the Rocket ride looked nice but it was too dark because the Sun was also in the same direction.
Here is how I handled the situation. I took a photo in the Auto mode with my Olympus E-PM2 camera.  I let the camera do the metering and do whatever it thought right. I knew the photo will not be good.
As you can see, the subject came out very dark. I can't blame the camera or the Sun for this! So I decided to help my camera. By looking at the photo, you can see that the subject/the structure I was shooting was dark. In other words, very much underexposed. So I needed to tell the camera to take much more light in. I was more interested in the subject. I really didn't care if the sky gets washed out. So I clicked on the Exposure Compensation button on my E-PM2. Changed the value to +2 and took a new photo.

Now see the photo below. It was much better than the photo in the AUTO mode. The sky is washed out but
As I have often said on this blog, any camera can do a good job if you are willing to help it in difficult/tricky situations.
There are times when we need to ask camera to take in less light. One case that comes to my mind is when you want to take photos of full Moon. Most cameras do not take good photos of the Moon in AUTO mode but you can move the EV value to -2 (or try with different negative numbers) and you can take nice photos of the Moon. Click on this link to my earlier post about it:

Tomorrowland in Disneyland


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