Noon – Sun Directly Overhead

The sun is at its highest point, directly overhead, vertical to the earth. This creates difficult lighting conditions for the photographer. The short distance through the atmosphere that the sunlight covers at this time of day, means that the beams of light are only slightly dispersed. This results in a hard light. The sun is a puntiform light source casts sharp shadows and there is a stark difference in brightness between the illuminated areas and the shadow areas.

In portraits, unbecoming shadows under nose and eyes can result in poor images. To solve this problem, the person being photographed can stand in the shade or you can use brighteners (optical brighteners, reflectors, flash devices…) to brighten up the shadow areas and decrease the difference in brightness. The sun at midday can be interesting if e.g. a ray of light hits a structured vertical surface (e.g. peeling plaster of a wall).