Shooting In Harsh Light

Shooting in harsh sunlight is something most photographers are not too crazy about.  Most of the time we’re focused on capturing the magic light of sunrise and sunset.  Harsh sunlight poses a challenge.  Obviously using filters, either a polarizer, or a strong ND filter helps cut down the amount of light found during the day.  Sometimes we just don’t have an option during strong sun light in capturing an image.  Most of my traveling surrounds business travel for my day job, and I can’t take a lot of gear with me when I’m on the road.  I’ll always take a camera with me, and that normally means no tripod or filters, with maybe the exception of a polarizer.  My business travel kit tends to be the camera and maybe two lenses.  I don’t mind traveling with just one lens; it makes me work harder for an image while I’m busy selling products for the environment.  And when I do travel, I normally can’t spend a lot of time thinking about when I can shoot, it more or less comes down to squeezing in some shutter time when there is a break in the action.  So when I’m confronted with harsh sunlight, I’ll go into black and white mode and convert my images to monochrome.  I can get some great tonality in my images from shooting in harsh sunlight.  When I know that the place I’m headed to can be pretty bright, I’ll take my converted infrared Nikon D7100, and shoot in infrared and convert those images into monochrome ones.  The nice thing about shooting a digital camera that has been converted to infrared photography is the absolute ghostly white you can pull out of green foliage.  I just had that opportunity recently while traveling to south Florida for a meeting.  I was able to steal away some time and head into the Everglades National Park to shoot infrared.  I couldn’t make it into the park in time for sunrise, and hit it pretty much when the sun and day were getting stronger and hotter.  The Everglades is a pretty cool place to shoot landscapes, and on this trip I didn’t see any real wildlife to speak of, but I did enjoy the solitude that one can find in our nation’s national parks.  All of the images were shot in infrared of the park, and I even took a few images of migrant workers working the fields outside of the Everglades.  The one color image was shot with a non-converted camera, just to show off the difference between an infrared and color image of the same subject type.

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