A good problem

Yesterday was a great day in many ways: my kids were both home for Mother’s Day, hubby bought me a new computer (!), the weather was beautiful, and I spent some time at Sycamore Hill Gardens with some members of the Ithaca Photo meetup group.

I learned two things on the Sycamore Hill Gardens trip:

  1. when the weather is nice on Mother’s Day, gardens that are open to the public are likely to be packed. Therefore, it’s likely that the people will be more interesting than the gardens; and
  2. blue skies + spring sun = strong shadows and a harsh cast

The first problem I dealt with mostly by turning my focus (no pun intended) to people and things. Although there were beautiful views and pretty spring flowers, they weren’t significantly more interesting than the things I find closer to home.

The second problem is a little tougher. I didn’t realize just how harsh the sunlight was until I got home and took a look at my day’s output, so by the time I realized there was a problem, it was too late to ask the photographers I was with.

Poking around online today, I’ve found a couple of articles including this one that deals with strong sunlight, but seeing that the suggestions are more situational than mechanical (e.g. “wait for an overcast or foggy day”), I have to guess that there wasn’t much I would have been able to do. Maybe there are filters? Settings? (Help me out here, people!)

It would be great if people could offer pointers. But if it’s a choice between sun and no sun, I’ll take the sunshine… thanks.

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  1. I love the floating flower!! I don’t have much in the way of suggestions though. I believe there are some glare-resisting sorts of filters but we’ll have to save that for our Q&A in June.

  2. You can experiment with a) exposure value, try -2/3 or more stops b) objects that offer good contrast to the surrounding light c) compose HDRs d) photograph keeping converting to B&W in mind . Also some interesting input are here (in case you missed previously): http://www.digital-photography-school.com/bright-ideas-for-shooting-in-midday-sun and http://www.digitalpicturezone.com/digital-photography-tips-and-tricks/how-to-make-your-midday-sun-photo-shoot-a-hit/

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