Conquering Midday Light, with Lindsay Adler

Join Lindsay Adler, fashion and portrait photographer, in Central Park at high noon where she teaches you how to take control of midday light.

Direct sunlight light is known for really bright highlights, really dark shadows, and it is not flattering for portraits. Join Lindsay Adler, fashion and portrait photographer, in Central Park at high noon where she teaches you how to take control of midday light. You’ll learn how to use diffusers to even out the light, how to use reflectors to fill in the light, and how to take advantage of a variety of other tools and techniques to conquer midday light.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 08:56)

Lindsay introduces the concepts covered in this class and discusses her go-to gear.

Lesson 2: Get in the Shade (Duration 10:00)

The first strategy for conquering midday light is to look for available shade and get your subjects into it.

Lesson 3: Not All Shade is Created Equally (Duration 09:49)

Full shade is great, but dappled shade presents real challenges. This is where having a diffuser to create even shade can save the day.

Lesson 4: Look for Natural Reflectors (Duration 06:48)

Your environment may provide natural reflectors in the form of a white wall, an expanse of concrete, or some other neutral colored subject getting hit with direct sunlight.

Lesson 5: Pose the Subject to Work with the Harsh Light (Duration 12:15)

Another strategy is to try to work with the light by posing your subject in ways that can take advantage of the high contrast situation.

Lesson 6: Create Your Own Shade (Duration 06:14)

Sometimes something as simple as a piece of foam core can create just the right amount of shade to get the shot.

Lesson 7: Use a Large Diffuser (Duration 07:56)

There are a few solutions out there for large diffusion materials, from giant shoot-through parabolic umbrellas to a variety of scrims that range in size and light cutting amount.

Meet Your Instructor: Lindsay Adler

Lindsay Adler is a professional portrait and fashion photographer based in New York. For the past 10 years she has owned and operated a portrait, fashion, and wedding studio distinguished…


  1. Is Lindsay using a Nikon 85mm, 50mm, 24-70mm & 70-200mm on a Cannon EOS? If so why?, I have read about adaptor rings to allow Cannon users use Nikon lenses but if in using the adaptor it becomes a manual lens.

  2. Excellent class on taming difficult light! Lindsay does an outstanding job explaining each situation. She has a keen eye and sees the problems and knows how to fix them immediately. Loved it!

  3. Fantastic tutorial. Lindsay presents in such a concise, informative and practical manner. More please Lindsay. Enjoyed the fact that it was just natural light as I don't have flash. Loved it, thank you.

  4. Lindsay, fantastic course. After seeing your studio course, which was excellent and among my favorites, i kept refreshing the "coming soon" section for "conquering midday light" hoping it was going be as good and it was. You get to the point and cover a lot of concepts and examples. The before and after comparison shots that you take and that the production team has put together in 'post' is some of the best yet on kelby training. Nicely done.

  5. Looking at the chapter headings for this course I thought that I had seen most of it in other Kelby videos, however once it started Lindsay got my attention on the correct way to use these aids. I really like the way she explained what she was doing by giving several concrete examples of each point she was making, i.e. how a reflector should be used etc. My knowledge in this area has been increased greatly watching this video! Good work!

  6. This was a great class! Lindsay knew exactly what she wanted to do and why she wanted to do it. She has a great talent of being able to give you a lot of information in a very few words.

  7. Once again, it is so nice to see a "Real Model" used in this course! Lindsay, is the first instructor I have seen, anywhere, doing this. As a former make-up artist, and hairstylist, working for fashion photographers, I was taught 25 years ago, by my agent in L.A., "if I don't know what beauty is, how can I hope to sell it". And I have to say there are models used in some of these video's that are so unattractive, I can't hear what is being said. Another thing I enjoy about Lindsay, is her lack of ego, or need to put down other photographers to make her point. She is well spoken and her dialog is thought about, she isn't just standing there rambling. Also how cool is it that she is using minimal equipment. She's not breaking out her 30 on camera strobes with 5 camera bodies and every lens ever made. This is a real life challenge and she delt with it in a real life way, using minimal equipment. On a personal note, her guy assistant is lame, I can't even count how many times I have been on a shoot, where the assistant was wanting so bad to be the shooter, and let the model know that this is just a part time gig, and he is really an amazing shooter, here's my card if you ever want a real photo! It is hard to get and keep a good crew. But when Lindsay had stopped shooting for a moment, he continued to hold the bright reflector on the model, (with no since of the discomfort she was in). And when Lindsay put her camera on the ground, I felt once again, he should have been there to take it from her, instead of posing. But that said I think Lindsey is the best of all of the instructors here at Kelby, who shoot people. I love David Ziser too!

  8. I have been a Kelby Training customer for a couple of years now. I have watched all the great instructors you have. I have to say Lindsay Adler is one of the best instructors you have and this course in particular was terrific. Her definitions of open VS covered shade and the differences in highlights and shadows was an Ah Ha moment for me. She is easy to follow and her examples are terrific. Lastly, other then the California Sun Bounce Diffuser at the end of the video, she made all of these wonderful portraits using very inexpensive modifiers that any photographer can afford. I will be watching this one again I am sure.

  9. One of the best courses about lighting! It is great to see how Lindsay Adler is becoming a more professional presenter with each video. It is easy to follow her advice and it is nicely demonstrated with the video. Thank you!

  10. Brilliant. Well structured course with easy to follow explanations. For me, she has gathered together disperate half understood bits of theory and practice and bound them together with some overall principles and concepts. Really good. Would love to see more courses from her. Perhaps a course on posing related to natural and or studio light. Pointing out how the light and shadows are falling as the pose changes.

  11. Another great class, Lindsay. A little request, if you dont mind: I'm foreigner and sometimes you speak so fast that I have to rewind and watch again. Not your fault, but mine and my difficults in English. So, I kindly ask to speak more slowly. Love your classes and the way you simplifying things. Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

  12. This was a great course. I like the minimalist amount of gear used to make the great shots in this course. Anytime of day is a good time to shoot with the right knowledge at hand.

  13. Excellent tutorial. From equipment selection to mental and technical application of technique, Lindsay covers all of the subtle nuances that separate the best Portrait Professionals from the average DSLR operator. Bravo!

  14. I love Lindsay. She's a great teacher and you can tell that she has a wealth of experience in fashion photography. I look forward to seeing more of her work and her classes on Kelby. Cheers. Ramy.

  15. Lindsay is absolutely one of my favorite instructors that I've seen here on Kelby Training. My only pet peeve is that she never calls the model by her name. That's something I always try to do to keep a rapport with a model. Other than that (well, plus the one male assistant who always looked really angry when he was on camera), Lindsay's videos are just great.

  16. Great job! Lindsey gives great ideas and shows the practical way of getting the best shot. It shows the "real world" situations we run into. Thanks to Kelby Training for great training material!

  17. Another excellent class by Lindsay Adler. Lindsay packs lots of helpful tips that will allow you to take control of harsh mid-day light. I found the before and after pictures great to show the difference among various light controlling methods. Most importantly, you'll feel confident that you can replicate Linday's results after you've watched this video.

  18. WOW! I have been watching "Conquering Midday Light" with Linday Alder. II would have to say, that content wise after using the site for almost 2 years, this is one of the BEST Kelby Video Training Courses on the site! For an amateur photographer this course has had the most relevant content to date. An added plus, is that there is no HUGE investment to get the kind of exposures that Lindsay is getting on top of having a camera. Great job Lindsay and Kelby Training! I hope more courses like this are coming!

  19. Thank you so much Lindsay.This is the best course I have ever seen about midday sun lighting situations and how to tackle them at ease.Lindsay knows exactly how to teach and how to get this information through this entire class and most importantly make it look so easy to follow along.Great job Lindsay and I can't wait to see your next class.Keep up the great work!!!

  20. Excellent class! I learned a lot about lighting and not just lighting in mid-day sun. Lindsey's explanations of directional lighting, reflectors and diffusors truly helped me understand lighting!

  21. Very good course, one of the best on available light, easy to follow, keep up the good work! Many many thanks from a kelbytraining fan!

  22. Great Job Lindsay, once again you cover relevant topics and give soe great tips. If you ever need a backup photog in California let me know.

  23. I have to agree with all the other raves! Amazingly concise, informative and clearly presented. I too appreciate the solutions presented without flash and a great deal of equipment. Thank you, thank you!

  24. I really enjoyed this course. I learned how do deal with a potential nightmare to the uninitiated photographer. I have taken steps to make sure my assistant has the necessary reflectors or scrim to emulate the lessons I have learned. I have all 4 of the lenses used. But for a Nikon D4. They are (ALL Nikkor lenses) - 50mm F1.4, 85mm F1.4, 24-70mm F2.8 and the 70-200mm VR II F2.8. I would like to know the ISO's used in this course. That would be the icing on the cake. Thanks for another great experience at Kelby Training. Cheers, Mark Patten Mark Patten Photography.

  25. This course was excellent! I found the instructor engaging and informative. I really liked the tempo of her delivery and the examples really drove the point home. I learned so much from this course and this instructor. Bravo!!

  26. This was absolutely an amazing course. You really made controlling light very easy to understand and gave great tips and tricks for controlling light with affordable equipment. Thank you so much.

  27. I must admit I was a touch skeptical about Lindsay's credentials given her young age, but I'll also admit those reservations were misplaced. She is not only an imaginative and accomplished photographer, but a top instructor that articulates her ideas very well. Well done to KT for getting Lindsay on board, and thanks to her for generously sharing.

  28. Lindsay Adler is perhaps one of the finest instructors both in person and in training videos. She thoroughly explain the whole process, not only the expressed topic, but everything that's involved in creating an all-around outstanding image.

  29. Great course. Loved the comparisons between the different shots and how simple it was to setup. The instructor was great and she needs to do MORE courses!

  30. I love Lindsay's classes, she gives such great information packed into her classes. I love that I can review her classes and continue to pick up points. I feel like I am getting heaps of info condensed into one session, she gives simple clear instructions with heaps of do's and don't s. I have tried many of them out and they work. Thanks Lindsay.

  31. Excellent class Lindsay. Great emphasis on the use of light modifiers to create soft light in direct sun without the need for a speedlight.

  32. Great! I hope to see more from Lindsay. She gives very practical advice in this video. I like her instruction style... a little fast paced but not too much. Maybe a little more info on camera settings she uses.

  33. Wonderful training video. I've encountered these mid-day photo opportunities previously, and i apparently had the tools I needed to pull off good shots, I just didn't have the the training, or creative mind set, to do so. I do now. :) Thanks Lindsay!

  34. Great job by Lindsey. She made sure that we didn't forget certain tips that she was giving by quickly repeating some of them very matter-of-factly in later sections. Superb tutorial. Thank you!

  35. I just signed up for Kelbytraining and Lindsay's course was the first one I watched. All I have to say is wow! I learned more in this one course than I have while spending hours reading books and web pages. She is an excellent instructor, breaking down the shoot into easy to remember "formulas". Being an amateur, I won't be using the knowledge gained on any paid shoots, but my kid shots should turn out much nicer now. Great job!

  36. Lindsay isn't only a pro photographer, she's a pro instructor as well. Her presentation style is not only informative, it's engaging from start to finish. So far, she's my favorite Kelby instructor, hands down! More Lindsay please!

  37. I have watched this course half a dozen times now and love it every time. Lindsay is a fantastic instructor and this is by far one of the best courses I have seen on KelbyTraining.

  38. This was an outstanding course! Lindsay is fantastic I learned a great deal. Although I don't shoot much portraits the insight here was invaluable. I am looking for one of those big reflectors next. Thank You Lindsay.

  39. Greatest training ever on the proper use of reflectors and diffusers. It also taught me (and confirmed to me) it is well worth the $40 dollars or so to hire a couple assistants on a shoot. Proper use of assistants can bring more income than they cost. Most pro photographers are shortsighted in regards to the use of assistants.

  40. I frequently have to shoot small group photos in exactly this type of situation and even though I was familiar with every device (reflectors, diffusers, etc.) Ms. Adler helped me to see all these devices used effectively. The photos of the model she took with and without each device really brought home and showed the pros and cons and what to look out for in each situation. It is essential but often overlooked in these courses the importance of bringing the price and efficiency of the devices to light. Ms. Adler emphasized the life cycle costs of the equipment she used and also brought less expensive alternative devices into the equation. I am sure that her discussion of price and benefit of the light modifiers she recommended and uses (convenience, her experiences with each, and expected results) is as extremely important to others as it was to me. This midday sunlight situation covered by this course is so common it is mentioned everywhere in any course about shooting outdoor location portraiture but I have never seen it covered so efficiently, succinctly with exactly the right amount of detail. Well done!

  41. Like the way Lindsay conducted this course. It's crisp and clear. She shown the sample shots instantaneously throughout her presentation, highlighting the differences, this make it easier to be understood. Also, she walked around, moved the crews around and advised the models on various poses and positions to illustrate her reasons. Lastly, her pace and tone of voice are just right.

  42. I liked that she kept things moving. Sometimes videos can get very long. I also liked that she actually shot contrasting photos. This allowed me to she the differences she was speaking about. I learned some great tips for my next midday shoot. Terri

  43. Great class. Lindsay is high energy. She brings up many simple and practical solutions to problems that most photographers encounter shooting in harsh, midday sun. Logical solutions with good, clear demonstrations. Highly recommended.

  44. Love this class, Lindsay clearly explained how to work with bright sun light. I had a basic knowledge but now I feel like I have a complete understanding of dealing with bright midday light. Thank you Lindsay for your comprehensive explanation in this class.

  45. Excellent--very practical tips, especially for those of us without a lot of equipment. It's very helpful to know how to use the environment to your advantage. It kept my attention--I watched every bit of it, and didn't fast forward through anything!

  46. Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. Among the best courses yet. I'd be interested in seeing how Lindsey would use a fill flash at mid day too. Thank you Lindsey, please provide more.

  47. This class is really, really helpful. Thanks for all the excellent examples of using reflectors and techniques for both full sun and shade. Info about lenses is also great!

  48. What an excellent class! I like how she takes what may appear to be a tough lighting situation, and shows you how to work the light with some inexpensive solutions. I'm definitely looking forward to going out and testing these out for myself.

  49. I used these suggestions and did a shoot in bright midday sun. The images came out beautiful. Thank you for such useful and easy suggestions. I no longer fear the sunny day portrait.

  50. This course was just what I was looking for. Simple, easy to follow explanations for dealing with various issues when shooting mid day. I took away several useful tips!!

  51. This was FANTASTIC!! So much good information and new ideas to work with for those tough mid day shoots! I feel SO much more confident after watching this and working with clients during harsh lighting situations! Thanks!!

  52. Awesome course, loved the instructor. She explained what she was doing, and why and showed examples of what not to do with lighting. Helped me so much. Watched it twice, sure I will be watching it again.

  53. Lindsay Adler is clearly very good at what she does, and I am learning a lot, but please, please, make her talk S L O W E R ! :) She talks so fast that I have issues with keeping up. Apart from that I love this course. Thanks a lot to everyone involved.

  54. Excellent course! Easy to understand and soooo useful. I like that you don't need a lot of expensive equipment to do this. This class would be a great deal of help to anyone who must photograph in direct sunlight. Thanks so much!

  55. Love this course learnt a lot, and Lindsay makes it so simple and easy to understand, I look forward to more course from her in the future, thanks Kelbytraining.

  56. This course offers so much great information, with perfect examples that can be put to use immediately! Excellent training.

  57. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING COURSE!! I have now watched it all the way through like 4 times. I learn something new every time. Thanks to everyone involved!!

  58. I love it. 1st wedding shoot this weekend and its an outside wedding and the tips in this class are spot on. Thanks for sharing I really love this.

  59. This is a really helpful video and I learned a lot. I have used the tips and they worked wonderfully. Something I would like to see additionally are ways to do these kinds of shoots without an assistant. I can't always find a helper to hold the reflector.

  60. This is a great course! For me this is worth the annual subscription price by itself. I've certainly read about all of these techniques, but having them demonstrated and with so much commentary - it really puts it all together for me. One little recommendation would be to have a download that shows the different lighting examples so it's easy to compare the shadows/highlights, etc. at a glance.

  61. Thank you, this is a great course demonstrating the best alternatives to the "ideal" that in most cases does not exist. As in "Okay, these are the circumstances I have to deal with, what can I do to achieve the best result with what I have."

  62. I found this entire course extremely helpful. It dealt with a real life situation that we (photographers) have to deal with. Clients don't always want to book at the best outdoor lighting times. She also used very simple and inexpensive tools. Fantastic, useful and practical information from start to finish. Very appreciative!

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