Theme Thursday: Sunshine

MAY 15, 2008

It’s Theme Thursday again over at The Land of K.A. and this week’s theme is Sunshine!

We had a weekend of rain but by Tuesday, the weather had turned beautiful. Very sunny but not hot at all. Just a gorgeous day to head out to the horse ranch. Taking photos in the sunshine has always given me trouble. Professional photographers know that the best time to shoot is either at dawn or dusk. I have kids who play during midday and have meltdowns at dusk, so currently the dawn/dusk option is not a valid one for me.

I really don’t know if it is “user error” or limitations of my photography equipment or all of the above, but I never can get great pictures in full sun. I’d like to get a polarizer lens one day and maybe even a reflector but in the meantime, I keep practicing with what I’ve got.

Here are my humble attempts:

(Click on image to view larger version.)

It was dinnertime at the ranch and all of the horses were eager to eat. Most of them are in darkened stalls, but this one was on the end next to an open door. The west sun provided just enough light to show his gorgeous face.

(Click on image to see larger version.)

My youngest daughter was enamored by the horses in the west paddock and was watching them eat their hay. I used the on-board flash to balance out the sun. Her face would have been in shadows otherwise.

(Click on image to view larger version.)

One of the horses in the paddock that my daughter was watching. Have you ever watched horses graze? It is so peaceful. Really. The slow, rhythmic way they graze across the hay or grass is almost mesmerizing.

(Click on image for a larger version.)

Rachel made friends with one of the 2 ranch dogs. This one gave her a kiss for being friends with him. (and talk about a lot of reflecting of light going on! A white dog and a fair skinned 3 year old! Whew! It is almost blinding in real life!)

Don’t forget to visit other Sunshine photos at The Land of K.A. :D

20 comments to Theme Thursday: Sunshine

  • Nice shots, such sweet ones of your wee girlie!

    I hear ya about ‘full sun shots’…sometimes shading the sensor with your hand can help that abit, or changing position–tinker with it, don’t miss sunshine shots, take them anyway!


  • :shark: Ok … that shark is so funny. I just had to click on it. Oh wait … look at that cow ! :cowwave: How can I get this in my comments !? They are hilarious !

    Sorry, I got distracted. I’m here to comment. Ahem.

    This is my first visit to your blog. (I popped over from The Land Of K.A.) I love what I am seeing !! That horse photo is incredible !!!

  • Oh, Christine, I love all those! :kiss:

  • Nice shots. She’s adorable.

  • Full sun photos. They are so hard to do. And it’s not like you can tell the horse, come on, move over into the shade, will you?

    Now, if you’d just send some of that sunshine my way…

  • I just love the first shot of the horse! And I know what you mean, I have a fair-skinned baby as well and the sun can be very harsh to work with. (I don’t think it’s your use of the equipment, I think it’s tough for anybody)

  • Love the shots! Your daughter is such a cutie. That picture of her and the puppy is too cute! My daughter would have a serious freak out attack if that was her. She’s a little afraid of puppies.

    I know what you mean about taking pictures in full sun. It is hard to do, especially with kids that don’t exactly stand in the spot you want them to. Using fill flash is a good tool, and also using spot metering on your camera.

  • love that first one of the horse’s face. i have the same problem blowing out my younger one’s very fair skin in the sunlight — it’s quite a challenge midday!

  • The first one with the horse – GORGEOUS! I love that one, Christine! The others are great, too….

  • kim

    Your pictures turned out great. I really like the first one….

  • It seems that everyone agrees that sun shots are hard. The best thing to do is to get out of automatic. The camera just can’t handle it. Love that horse face shot. Adjust the exposure while aiming at a shady spot. Also, I notice that the frame around the window it metal. It’s probably reflecting some light to your camera which would definitely through the light metering off. And you’re right about horses grazing. It IS very peaceful.

  • Bonnie, you made me laugh! I’ll email you about adding smilies to your comment section. :thumbsup:

    Kacey, I’m wishing sunshine upon you! I bet you got our rain from the weekend! :whistle:

    Stacy, I use the spot metering each time. And I try to take several photos of similar scenes (as much as a toddler lets me ;) )

    Melody, I rarely use the automatic setting. (unless my oldest daughter or hubby has used the camera on auto and I didn’t look to see if it has changed :rolleyes: ). I spot meter and adjust as needed on the fly. Like I told Stacy, I try to take several photos of a scene if possible at different F-Stop settings to see the different effects it can have. With a fast moving kid, that’s hard. But the grazing horse, I took about 5 at different settings.

  • Great shots – I just love that last one, it’s too cute!

  • Very sweet photos…

    Yes red headed kids can be fun can’t they?LOL… Happy Thursday.

  • Great photos (and comments too! Even if you already do some of those things, its was a good reminder…not that I have a DSLR yet.) I love horses, always have, they are peaceful to watch graze. And that red hair! Wow!! She is a doll.

  • I love her red hair! :) What a sweetheart. I like the way the sunshine seems to shine all around her. I’m not the best in full sunlight either and have decided I just like the over saturated with light look anyway. ;)

  • Golightly, you are so right! I do need the reminders. I can’t wait until I get a DSLR with more control and options. I’m sure I’ll be coming back here for those reminders often! :)

    killashandra, what a great outlook! :thumbsup:

  • You are so right about watching horses eat and it being so relaxing! I love that! I really love when they sort their hay and wiggle their nose. Too cute!


  • I just love that top photo of Rachel. That would look so sweet in a frame. Nice!

  • I know I’m two days late but I love your horse eye photo! that’s so cool!

    What you need is a full day at the beach in full sun. Its the best way to really REALLY play with sun and figure out the best angles and ways to reflect, etc. I actually really like working with super-harsh conditions (sun, snow, etc) because it is so easy to learn that way since the results are really obvious.

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