I'm using a Canon Powershot sx510hs which is an advanced point and shoot camera with 30x optical zoom. It has only one focus point at the center. Whenever I am trying to take portraits, having sky as background, the background appears to be over-exposed. The metering I am using is in evaluative mode or matrix metering mode. I would like to know whether there is a process by which I can attain even exposure for darker foreground subject and brighter background in case of outdoor portrait photography.


1 Answer 1


It is easier to let your camera meter for the background and for you as the photographer to take control of your subject and ultimately, control how much light you wish to use.

Photography is just “Painting with Light”, and whereas on a bright day, when there may be an abundance of ambient light, you are still confronted with the following 2 scenarios;

  1. Is there too much light that the background is over exposed or blown out
  2. or is there not enough light to correctly expose your subject

The best way to ensure that everything is correctly exposed, or exposed at your desired levels; you need to set your aperture and shutter speed to correctly expose the background. Once you have done that, then correctly expose your subject with the cameras built in flash, better known as fill in flash.

You can also use a simple reflector, doesn't have to be anything expensive, a simple white board can be very effective. Aluminium foil glued to some cardboard will create a nice fill light for you also.

To summaries, you need to expose for the background and re-introduce some light back in for the foreground

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