Light diffused by cloud normally presents
little difficulty as there are no pronounced shadows and pictures can
be taken from almost any angle. Observe, however, the effect of
reflection from light areas in the scene and take advantage of these
where possible. In direct sunlight it is safer to have the sun behind
you and to one side of the camera, but more interesting effects are to
be had with strong side lighting or with the sun almost facing the
camera. In these cases a lens hood is essential and exposure must be
calculated with special care.
When departing from frontal lighting the
child's face may be partly or wholly in shadow. A useful trick for
obtaining an exposure reading in this situation is to hold your hand
vertically in such a way that the light on it resembles that reaching
the child's face. A meter reading taken say, about six inches from your
hand will give a quick and fairly reliable indication of the required
The long shadows of early morning or
evening, especially in summer-time add considerably to the relief
effect. Avoid sunlight directly behind the camera or at its height in
summer. Both these conditions, producing short shadows, give 'flat'
results. A photograph I took of my son at the age of three, in a
cliff-top garden, with the sunlight coming across the sea from near the
horizon gave almost the illusion of having been taken in a studio. A
privet hedge in shadow and thrown out of focus, added to this effect.