Most normal people would look at the above image and say "yeah, OK, bright sun, nice", NOT! It's contrasty and even not flattering.
After the inside shoot today we ventured to the beach on the way home. The sun was direct giving hard edges to the shadows as there were no clouds to diffuse and soften the light. I could have chosen to compete with the sun by using flash, but decided to opt for an easier option, a scrim frame with a light silk in place, or in this case a 1m x 1m Lastolite Skylite Rapid frame with a 0.75 stop diffuser.
In the past I have been an advocate of the California Sunbounce range of reflectors and diffusers due to their build quality and efficiency. Recently I saw the new Lastolite products at a couple of trade shows and decided to give them a try - all I can say is simple to use and quite cost effective, in other words less expensive than similar Sunbouce products.
Using the 0.75 silk diffuser the Lastolite Skylite 1m x 1m becomes the light source
when placed between the sun and subject
Here the VAL is using a painters extension pole as a boom with a grip head holding the Skylite Rapid in place, in turn attached to a 1420 VAL Spigot which even in a breeze of around 10 kts moved very little due to the rigid frame. I attempted to use a Lastolite Trigrip which in the conditions proved useless as it distorted with the breeze.
Fujifilm X30 CSC - Compact System Camera
All natural provided by a massive fireball in the sky. Modified with the aid of a 1m x 1m Lastolite Rapid scrim frame. All held in place with the aid of a grip head, a 1420 VAL Spigot and a decent painters extension pole in lieu of a light stand and/or boom!
Lastolite products are available worldwide. The 1420 VAL Spigot from me direct via http://www.packshots.biz/gelclip/
You may see more examples of the 1420 VAL Spigot in use from this blog or in the eBook available on ISSUU (for now) http://bit.ly/1420valspigot
If you're serious about your photographic lighting then maybe The LIGHT Side Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/thelightsidegroup/ will interest you. It's about all things to do with light and lighting. TLS is a closed group so someone will need to add you or you'll need to send a request to be added. It's a friendly group, with a degree of humour and some great photographers willing to share and contribute.