Full sun is when the sun is high in the sky, around 10am-4pm-ish in Summer and 11am-2pm-ish in the Winter (if you're lucky enough to see the sun at all!)
The coolest thing about full sun is that it's fun! It gives your photos a really happy, summery feel.
Because the sun is up so high, it creates harsh shadows, which can be ace for adding graphic shapes to your photos, but not so great for shooting portraits in.
We tend to use full sun for big scenes, it has a cinematic quality about it, and everything looks super bold and punchy. It was awesome to shoot in when we went on a desert road trip in Kate's old Holden, with all that red earth and blue sky.
When you try to use it to photograph small details it can overwhelm what you are shooting, by casting dark shadows. Making it look confusing, hard to see and distracting from the subject.
We pretty much always meter for mid tones when we are shooting in the full sun. Choose a point in the photo that's as close to middle grey in tone as you can get as a starting point. We scoured the internet for hours and finally found a great example of middle grey for you.
If you were to meter for the shadows, everything else would be blown out into whiteness, because the contrast between light and dark is so huge. Like this poor over exposed cat below.
We have made some little interactive images to help illustrate some of the points we have covered. You can click on the arrows throughout the class to see notes and metering points.
Full sun is not great for shooting portraits in.
Full sun makes people all squinty and not their prettiest selves. Not only that, but when you try to shoot a portrait in the full sun the boney bits above their eyes cast dark circle shadows, which make their eyes look like dark holes, no one wants dark holes for eyes! You can still have people in your photos though! Try and shoot them doing something, make sure to get them looking away from the camera (just not towards the sun!)
Sometimes the sun can not be nice, we found a clip we like to demonstrate this.
Let's recap …
Full Sun Homework
This task is super simple (unless you live in similar weather to us right now, then actually finding full sun may prove difficult!)
Get outdoors and shoot something in full sun. Whatever catches your eye! Think about how you meter, use the light and make sure you aren't blinding any of your subjects by making them look in to that burning ball of flames!
Nice and easy!
If you are in the middle of winter (like us) at the moment and the chance to shoot in the full sun doesn't show up often, you might need to skip ahead to the next lesson and come back to this one when you have the chance