Tips on shooting images in bright environments / backlit situations.

Article ID: ART129934 | Date published: 05/12/2015 | Date last updated: 11/16/2015


Shooting in Bright or Backlit Situations

When shooting a subject's face, it looks better when the sunlight falls on the face. When turning the subject's face toward the sun, however, there are times when the subject cannot open her eyes because the sunlight is too glaring. This section describes how you can easily shoot sharp shots without having the subject facing the sun.

The subject's face looks better when lit, but when the light is too bright, you can shoot the subject in a backlit situation.

1. Here we had the subject turn toward the sun to have the sunlight fall on the subject's face.

Direct lighting brings out the subject's complexion. Because the bright sunlight causes her to squint, however, her facial expression is awkward.

2. Next, try shooting with the subject backlit (with the light coming from behind your subject).

Because the sun is not shining directly on the subject's face, you can shoot the subject with a natural expression. This shot is not bad, but the subject's face is somewhat dark because the sunlight is not falling on it directly.

3. Because the subject's face becomes darker in backlight situations. Try shooting the shot with flash.

The subject's face became brighter because the flash was used. You can also adjust the brightness by using exposure compensation, but you can easily add brightness by using the flash.

Next, move away from the subject and try shooting with the camera's zoom function. Set the Shooting Mode to [Portrait] () and the flash to [Flash On] (). Please refer to the related information on these setting at the bottom of this page.

Use a reflector plate to shoot at a natural brightness

4. Next, try shooting with a reflector plate, without using the flash.

You can add brightness to the subject's face using the flash, but you can get more natural-looking shots by using a reflector plate. And, compared with pictures taken without a reflector plate, the subject's eyes seem to glitter more in pictures taken with a reflector plate. This is because the light that is reflected by the reflector plate is reflected into the sunlight. Not only can reflector plates reflect light onto the subject's face, but you can also count on them to create lively expressions.

5. The white plate that she has in her had is the reflector plate. As shown in the following picture, reflect the sunlight off the reflector plate, and onto the subject's race.

Ideally, someone would hold the reflector plate for you, but you can also have the subject hold the plate when shooting, as shown here. It is advisable to move the reflector plate and find the best position for it because the light and shade on the subject's face depends on the position of the reflector plate. If you do not have a reflector plate, you can use a white notebook or towel instead. (the effect will depend on how reflective the item is.)

You can buy reflector plates in camera shops and electronics stores. You can obtain small ones inexpensively.

There are many kinds of reflector plates, and if you select a compact one, it could be handy. As shown below, some reflector plates can be folded to make them smaller.


The content of this section is summarized in the points that follow.

  • If the sunlight is glaring, take backlit shots.
  • Set the flash to [Flash On] when backlighting makes the subject dark.
  • Even backlit shots can look naturally bright if you use a reflector plate.



Rate this Article
Was this article helpful?
Yes, This document is helpful
No, This document needs a clearer explanation
Please provide your comments