Tips for getting better photographs in bright light

beach-flash sunlight

Photographing in bright light is the complete opposite challenge of shooting in low light. Its a rather different way of managing the light that comes into your camera and is something which you will need to focus on greatly because things can go wrong pretty quickly.  So here are some simple tips to point you in the right direction.

Make sure you can review your pictures properly

camera lcd


This is really important. Even if you are in shade the LCD screen on your camera will still be very hard to see and will often give an inaccurate representation of your image. Make sure that you go into your camera settings and put the LCD on full brightness and use something so block as much sunlight out as possible. If you want to use live view mode there are LCD view finders that are available.

Use the sunlight to you advantage – don’t point towards sun

pointing into the sun


Try not to take any pictures with the subject facing towards the sun. All you will end up with is a completely blown out picture with your subject looking like a silhouette most of the time. Instead try to face at least 45 degrees away from the sun.

Use a polarising filter



Get a polarising filter. Variable ones work great and allow you to reduce the light hitting the sensor by about 10 stops in most cases. This is really useful if you are using a fast lens and still want to maintain a narrow depth of field which is almost impossible without a polarising filter.

get a lens hood



Look up the diameter of your lens. This can be found by looking at the front of the glass, along the rim; the diameter will be measured in millimetres. A lens hood will be be pretty cheap and will help reduce the amateurish looking glare that light produces as it bounces off the glass.

use a flash

beach-flash sunlight


This may sound a little strange since there is already loads of available light. Yes there is loads of available light just not always where you want it to be. I said in the second tip to not point the camera in the direction of the sun because the subject will be too dark. Well you can correct this by using a flash. The sun can create really cool effects when the light is managed correctly.

Please comment below if you have more ideas!


Photographer and writer for

Latest posts by johnhoward (see all)