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Create Good Images at Midday – Monthly Challenge

Light is everything in photography, and time of day is key to making good photographs. If you've been doing photography for a while you've likely come to the realization that the light is worst at midday. Hence why so many photographers shoot at dawn and sunrise, especially landscape photography.

Have a look at this example to see what I mean: Want to Take Better Photos? Time of Day Matters!

Shot at high noon
Shot at high noon, the backlighting on the smoke make it dramatic

New challenge – shoot at midday, and make good images

So your challenge this month is to go against that and shoot at midday.

But the trick is you must still come away with some good images. So how can you do that if the light sucks? It's too bright and contrasty, right? Here are some tips:

  • Find little pockets of shade and look for interesting subjects there to shoot
  • Think details, macro even. Get closer – you may be surprised what you find that's interesting.
  • Use a white reflector (or translucent one which will diffuse the light and can work well for small subjects like flowers) to fill in the shadows, or fill flash
  • Try some silhouettes
  • Use backlighting on your subject
  • Shoot shadows
  • Go somewhere that you can shoot indoors
  • Use window light indoors to make a portrait
Shadows at midday
Shadows at midday
Portrait inside at midday using window light only
Portrait inside at midday using window light only

Wrap-up and winner from the last challenge

Last month you were to try out some long exposure photography. There were over 85 comments and many images shared, some even tried star trails which is the ultimate long exposure. Well done if you participated and shared your images with us!

Here's what a few people had to say about the long exposure challenge:

  • Lynette Johnson got up at 1:30am to take a shot of her tent and the Milky Way (now that's dedication!) – We hiked 5 hours up 3000′ to this campsite over the Pacific Ocean. At 1:30 am I popped out of my tent and found the Milky Way shining brightly over us. Since I didn't have my tri pod along, I set my camera in the seat of our lightweight hiking chair which tilted just right for this composition. My husband inside never even stirred as I light painted the tent in this 30 sec exposure.
  • Marshal applied not only long exposure photography but some wide angle lens tips from a article – As I was shooting the street from between parked cars, I thought I would include the one in front of me. I tried several different angles with my 18mm lens and eventually got one I liked.
  • Dori Badger shot a river and small waterfall with a long exposure – Got my ND filters today. Here is my first attempt at long exposure photography. I used ND 8 100 ASA and about 10 seconds exposure.
  • Mick Miller tried some light painting  I used my cell phone to add the color lights, the setting on the phone also had an alarm on it and I kept setting it off. Started at 8:30pm and finished around 11pm doing the photos. Been wanting to do this for awhile.
  • Kim Anningston shot some rides at the fair – I tried some long exposures at the Red River Exhibition. It was a great opportunity to learn how the different shutter speeds capture the moving lights.  ~ Thanks for the great challenge!

And the winner is . . .

Selected randomly from all of you who completed the challenge, shared your images and what you learned – the winner is . . .

Congratulations to Saurav Dhyani!

Saurav discovered a neat way of using a candleI have myself learnt another way of working with long exposures. Which is making different shapes like alphabets using candle light. In this way I do not more the object rather I move the camera by holding it tight (without shaking hands) in the shape of an Alphabet.


We'll be in touch on how to claim your prize by email, congratulations again

This month's challenge

Taken about 2pm on a sunny day. Just find the shady side of a building.
Taken about 2pm on a sunny day. Just find the shady side of a building.
Find a market, they are often covered or indoors
Find a market, they are often covered or indoors

To participate in the challenge

All you have to do to participate in this challenge is get out and shoot in the middle of the day.

Come back with some great images and share them with us. Practice some of the tips above and see what you come up with.

Backlight your subject
Backlight your subject – to create a sun flare like this position the sun so it's just peeking out from behind something and let it hit your lens.
Get indoors and find some good light
Get indoors and find some good light

The Contest

In order to be eligible to win this month's challenge you must complete the assignment, and post a comment below by August 10th 2015 (midnight EST) that includes:

  • Sharing at least two of your midday images
  • Tell us about your experience – what worked and what didn't?
  • Tell us about what you learned by doing this challenge
Look for subjects spotlit by the sun. This image was darkened around the edges to bring focus and attention to the laundry.
Look for subjects spotlit by the sun. This image was darkened around the edges in post-processing to bring focus and attention to the laundry.
Get indoors. I have shot inside malls, bars, all sorts of places. Ask permission if you feel uncomfortable doing it and if they ask you to stop of course please follow their wishes.
Get indoors. I have shot inside malls, bars, train stations, all sorts of places. I've also been asked to stop and almost kicked out too. So do ask permission if you feel uncomfortable doing it and if someone asks you to stop, please follow their wishes.

The Prize

This month the prize (for a randomly selected winner from eligible participants) is a $50 Gift card from Amazon. Use it to buy yourself a book or photo gadget.
While the prize was awarded long ago, you can still participate in this challenge on your own, and post your photos in the discussion area below.


Digital Photo Mentor is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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