Using Shade in Midday Sunlight

by Jim Zuckerman

baby elephant in shade
baby elephant in shade
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
Shooting at midday is usually pointless when the sun is out. The contrast is horrible - highlights blow out and shadows go black. This picture of a nursing baby elephant has soft and diffused lighting, which is ideal, but I took this picture at 11am under a clear blue sky.

The reason you don't see the effect of the harsh, midday sunlight is because I used a 500mm f/4 Canon telephoto plus a 1.4x teleconverter, which gave me 700mm of focal length, and I filled the frame with the shadow side of the mother elephant. The bulk of the adult was so large that it shaded the baby from the sun, and with the tight composition I eliminated any evidence of harsh light. Had you been able to see even a small patch of bright sunlight, that would have ruined the picture.


More on Jim Zuckerman: Jim Z is a top pro who teaches for BetterPhoto.com's online photography school, including these courses: Techniques of Natural Light Photography and Developing Your Creative Artistic Vision. Also, he contributed to Jim Miotke and Kerry Drager's how-to book: The BetterPhoto Guide to Photographing Light.





Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.