Fill Light Photography

Have you ever taken a picture of someone outside while it’s sunny? If you have, then you’ve probably noticed the harsh shadows that show up throughout their face. This is completely natural, but there is a way to fix it! There is something called “fill light photography” where you use your flash or lighting kit outside in the sun. This provides a nice portrait with even lighting across the face.

with flash 2Here we have a picture without flash. Notice that his face isn’t lit up very well.

The only editing I did to this picture was changing the highlights and painting over his sunglass lenses. I pulled the high lights way down so that the sky wasn’t blown out behind him, and I was in the reflection of his glasses so I painted over it just a little bit. I had the opacity really low so that it wasn’t too noticeable.

with flash 1Here is the picture with flash. His face doesn’t have shadows on it anymore. I did the same editing on this as before; pulled the highlights down for the sky and painted over the sunglasses. I really like how this picture turned out.

without flash 3On this one, I only brought the highlights down in Lightroom to counteract the background being blown out. with flash 3There isn’t a huge difference between this image and the last. However, I do prefer this one over the last. The light is filling in his face better. I only had to pull the highlights down but I had him take his sunglasses off so that I wouldn’t have to brush them out.

without flash 4with flash 4Here, the second image has flash on it. Between the two pictures, there isn’t much difference. In the second image, she does have her head turned more towards the sun and i think that might be putting more light on her face. I didn’t tell her to do that but she did.

I did this project when I had the time available, and it happened that the sun wasn’t casting its usual glow. It was enough for us to all need sunglasses, but depending on where I had them stand the shadows didn’t really appear. I want to try this again sometime and have a better background, and do this on an extremely sunny day.




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