Playing Fair with Flare

© Joe Pugliese for Wired

Second installment to our weekly photo theme. This week’s follows my previous tweet on having fun with flare.


  1. Shooting naturally: Position the subject where it is lit from the back/side while you can still see the sun in your frame. If the sun is too strong move around and use the subject to partially hide it from plain sight. Meter and expose for the subject’s face.
  2. Shooting with (studio/strobe) lights: Look for an angle where you can put a strong light source behind your subject, meter using spot, find an area in the sky where you still can see the blue or the grey cloud, adjust your light so it perfectly lit the subject accordingly–if you are on strobe, the E-TTL will do the job for you


  • When the cloud moves rapidly, exposure value changes accordingly, always shoot and preview to adjust your settings.
  • Due to the bright scene, your LCD preview might not be your best friend, use the histogram to preview exposure instead.
  • Pay attention to the subject’s eyes, avoid shooting when they squint, or too much of reflection from their spectacles.
  • Best time to shoot portrait in bright sun is morning 7-8am, or afternoon after 3 pm depending on your location and surrounding, don’t shoot in open space as the heat might take the mood off from you & your subject.

Our previous theme was Mobile Phones