How To Shoot Into The Sun And Not Have Your Subject Silhouetted

In this post, we are going to learn how to shoot into the sun and not have your subject turn into a dark silhouette.

how to shoot into the sun

How To Shoot Into The Sun – Methodologies

There are two approaches to shooting into the sun.

  1. Shoot into the sun and set the exposure on the background. Then, bring your subject within the frame, focus on the subject and shoot. This will always provide you with a very nice silhouette.
  2. Shoot into the sun and set the exposure on the background. Then, bring your subject within the frame, focus on the subject, add light and shoot.

If your interests our on the latter approach, this article is for you. The important part to remember here are these simple steps:

  1. Set your exposure to the background scene
  2. Illuminate your subject with a reflector, lamp, or both
  3. Focus on your subject
  4. Remain very still
  5. And shoot


What You Need

The most basic need is the light on your cell phone. For subjects that are close to the camera (usually within 8-10 feet) it can be enough. Next, may be a reflector or even an auxiliary lamp.


Reflector (optional)

A nice reflector kit is, indeed, something extra to carry, but at only 8″ in diameter and less than a pound it’s the perfect addition for this sometimes difficult shots. They work by using different color discs or various diameters to illuminate your subject with reflected light from the sun or another light source. They are very inexpensive, usually under $15 and can really help a lot.


Auxiliary Lamp (optional)

Remember, your built in lamp is very small and does not have much power. A larger lamp, like the Manfrotto LUMIMUSE can help a lot to provide more distance and more even light. It also has a large rechargeable battery so as not to tax your phone’s battery. This lamp also has various filters that can be added for special effects and for your own personal styling. There is a Manfrotto LUMIMUSE Accessory Multicolor Filter Kit, Manfrotto LUMIMUSE Accessory Portrait Filter Kit and Manfrotto LUMIMUSE Accessory Classic Filter Kit. Your lamp can be hand held or mounted, also mounting will require a bracket with a cold flash shoe. These are inexpensive and also allow you to anchor your phone to a tripod to keep it still in low light conditions. A good smartphone grip handle rig makes this really easy to mount your camera (up to 3.6″ wide), mount your lamp and even attach it to a tripod.


Some Good Reading Material On This Subject

Wikipeadia – Reflector Photography

Digital Photo – Mastering Low-Light Fill Flash




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