How to Combat Backlighting when Making Videos

One of the sure ways to spot an amateur video is through backlighting.  People who are new to video production often make the mistake of capturing footage of a backlit subject. 

What exactly does backlighting refer to? It is a brightly lit background that enters the frame of the video.  When backlighting occurs, suddenly the foreground (“the area of space in a perspective picture, depicted as nearest the viewer,” becomes dark because the camera’s metering system measures the immense light.  For example, if you are filming an interview of someone sitting in front of a window, you risk the person appearing shadowed and extremely dark in the clip, while the light from the window appears bright.

There are some things you can do to overcome backlighting and produce an amazing video, which include:


  1. Using video lights or reflectors to illuminate the subject to offset strong background light
  2. Securing your exposure on your subject to avoid shadowing when the camera moves to a brightly lit background
  3. Not shooting video in this type of lighting

As you shoot video, you need to learn how to recognize situations that will result in backlighting.  By learning how to identify these scenarios, you can take the appropriate steps to battle the lighting.

Gearshift TV offers a range of services, including video production, video editing, Web video creation and photography.  We also have a green screen studio we use to shoot high quality videos for our clients.  For more information, contact us today at 877.477.STUDIO.

Jim Folliard
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Founder, Director, Cinematographer, Photographer & Editor
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