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Quick Tips on Finding and Maximizing Open Shade for Stunning Photos

The key with photography lighting is to find something that works for you and always keep it in your back pocket.

For many photographers, when they learn and master open shade they see ridiculously dramatic improvements in their photos.

This was absolutely the case for me. When I started out with my DSLR camera, fresh out of the box, I would have arrogantly told you that bright sun was the best outdoor lighting for photos. In reality, it causes harsh shadows, flat colors, and unnatural expressions.

It wasn’t until I learned how to find and use open shade that I finally was on the right track with my photography.

What is Open Shade?

Open shade is when your subject is standing in a shaded area facing out towards the sun. Shade creates the perfect environment for pictures by providing a consistent and soft light source, which will allow for capturing intricate details and saturated colors.

How to Find Open Shade

It’s easy to find open shade. Find a shaded spot. Place your subject in the shade, facing where the sun is.

If there is overcast, you should still face your subject to where the sun would be if it were out.

Benefits of Open Shade

From moving my subject simply from the A to the B location below:

It transformed the picture from this:

To this:

Open shade is easy to find, and a reliable lighting source for stunning pictures. It will give a beautifully exposed picture, and it will illuminate your subject’s eyes.

For more tips on outdoor photography lighting, including photographing in harsh sun or unexpected weather scenarios, check out this post!

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