Please look at this photo.


I am very new to photography and as you can see the sun being directly behind the scene (the fern in this case)

Shoot Parameters : ISO 100 (Auto Setting) Focal Length : 18mm Aperture : f /4.0 Shutter Speed : 1/2500 secs

My question is How can I avoid the sun from cutting a portion of the photo as it did right now ? If you see the portion of the photo with the sun directly behind it has a discontinuity.


1 Answer 1


It didn't "cut" your photo, as such, it's simply that this part of the sensor is basically blown out on all channels and so has become pure white. If you think of each spot on the sensor as basically a bucket that can contain some amount a light, what has happened is that the sun, being such an intense source of light, has filled all the buckets in the area and so it appears that there is now nothing there.

Now, the way to avoid the problem is through the use of neutral density and graduated neutral density filters or not shooting directly at the sun when it is in a more peak position. For a photo like this one, however, you'd be pretty hard pressed to avoid this happening while still maintaining proper exposure of the tree. In fact, if the tree was more correctly exposed, the effect would have been worse. So your best bet, in this circumstance is to try and make the effect more artistic as best you can.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I kind of had a hunch that filters would be at play here somewhere. Can I use a circular polarizer to achieve the same effect ? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2013 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rajaditya_m a polarizer can help too, but there's no perfect answer if the sun is almost on axis with your lens. Just too bright. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:23

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