Ok here it is, tip #2. I actually got this one from my friend Mariano Friginal. If you haven’t seen his work before it’s incredible.
When I first started shooting I was scared of the sun because it produced hard light, black shadows and squinty eyes. But now that I have learned to use it I have come to love shooting in the sun, often even more than on overcast days. So here’s one of those little tricks than can help you take advantage of the sun. All you need to buy is the largest reflector you can fit your arm halfway around. Then pull out a knife and slice a cross hair about 5 inches long through the very center.
When you’re shooting you will want to position your subject so the sun is somewhere behind and above them. If you’re really close (and I mean about 12 inches as really close) the sun bounces off and creates this amazing cat eye reflection in their eyes like the first image below. From a little further back it fills in all the shadows with a really nice soft even light. The key is to just make sure to set your exposure to your subjects face while the light is on it.
Depending on the brightness of the day I will switch between the white or silver side of the reflector. You can also vary your position a few degrees in each direction to let the sun halo your subject and create some awesome in camera sun flares. The trick works best when the sun is low in the sky so you can shoot straight ahead, but as you might note in some of the examples below you can do it at high noon. You just need to shoot almost straight up.
This is probably one of my favorite tricks. It’s one I will use on almost every shoot. If you try it out and get some great images let me know, I would love to see them! =)