Sun Tacticians

I have endless memories of being held up or lined up for a family photo, squinting into the sun. I have just-short-of-endless photographic evidence of same.

It started early.

It never stopped.

It came full circle.

Now, I get the thing about not having the sun behind the subject, but there must be some tactic for taking photos so subjects don’t have to grimace into the sun.

Well, there is, and the birds have found it – two tactics, in fact.

Close the blinds.


Turn your neck on the whole thing.


Neither of these tactics is available to me–I lack both the nictitating membrane (check out #4 of 7 for a surprise) and the swivel-neck these mallards are deploying so casually–but I have to admire the endless (albeit undirected) ingenuity of evolution which seems to have prepared them precisely for my photo shoot. After all, they do look fabulous in full sun.

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6 Responses to Sun Tacticians

  1. Ken from Kenora says:

    Yes, I/we have similar recollections and evidence of being the subject(s) of Mom’s photo shoot with the old box camera, always the squinty contorted facial expressions. And those are great Drake photos.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Ken – 🙂 I likely don’t appreciate the full effect of having had access to much better film than, say, my parents did – and now, of course, high-quality digital sensors. I think this is one of them – that I can get better in-shade photos than they could have. (And some of it is just being aware and going for a different time of day.)

  2. Marion says:

    I have an inventory of squinty photos too but at some point developed a strategy: while you’re framing the shot and otherwise getting ready, the subject is posed in position (just realized those words come from the same root) and smiling, they look down at the ground in front of them and let their eyes relax. Then the photographer goes 1 2 3 NOW, and everyone looks up with big smiles and open eyes. The only trick is to take the pic right away before the natural squint reflex takes over. If not then you start again.
    Doesn’t work with babies and toddlers though …

  3. barbara carlson says:

    Now, what about all those red-eye photos?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – I used to have a simple processing fix for those, but I see that the current basic editing software bundled with Office doesn’t do it – maybe the digital cameras have gotten smarter?

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