what do you mean ‘ruined by shadows’? as in portions of the picture are way too dark? or there are shadows in unfortunate places? or are the shadows making faces and flipping off the camera?
yes to portions of the picture being too dark (I would consider shadows flipping me off to be a great picture, but I’m wierd like that :P)
I was trying to take pictures of my flatmates but there seemed to be a shadow blocking one face or the other.
I also noticed that some photos seem to give off a more lifelike feel with the same settings so I was wondering if there was a rule about having the sun in x position in relation to the camera, or it was those subtle changes that the camera likes to make (think you are smarter than me do you *shakes fist*)
your film/sensor has a much smaller dynamic range than your eyes do – i.e. something in the shadows that you can see perfectly well may come out pretty darned dark in the photo (depending on where you meter from/type of metering). couple of work arounds – use a fill flash to banish the shadows; spot meter on your friends faces (altho’ the sunny spots will probably get blown out then); move them into the sun; take multiple pics and composite an HDR shot.
i guess i’m not really sure about the whole sun position question; other than don’t shoot directly at it i don’t know much (and even that rule is made to be broken).