backlighting

Brighton pier sign - backlighting

Here is an place that you should be able to find fairly easily !

Brighton Pier being South facing means that backlighting is going to be a regular occurrence since the sun will be in front of the camera a lot of the time.

A backlighting situation occurs when the light behind the object you are trying to photograph is much lighter then the object itself. So trying to take a photo of the Brighton sign on the pier is a good test.

Note: please don’t take photos direct into the sun even if you have a lenshood – you could damage your eyesight or even the camera sensor itself (we leave you to figure out which is worse). The sun will be pretty much direct from 11 am to 1 pm and will have e a strong impact on the light.

In the example above we took the photo around 4 pm. If you have a deep blue sky in the afternoon like this you may get away with a properly exposed photo since the deep is dark enough in tone.

However if you have a white sky then you will almost certainly have exposure problems on the sign and yo will naturally get a silhouette (fine if that’s what you want). This will vary with camera makes – particularly Canons tend to get overcome with light differences whereas Nikons have a habit of getting it close (if not right in recent models).

It also depends on your exposure metering setting – we assume evaluative metering for beginners since that is usually the default. If you use spot metering then you probably don’t need to read this (if you are getting OK exposures).

To deal with backlighting you may ned to use exposure compensation (see page on this) to let more light into the camera – in other words override the metering.