PHOTO TIP from Always An Adventure:
Back-lit Chipmunk photographed at Petrie Island, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
With the camera pointing in the direction of the sun, your subject will be in shadow. These types of situations are very challenging. However, there are a few tricks that'll help.
1) Use a flash to fill in the shadow. Some cameras come with a simple pop-up flash that works well. Otherwise, an external flash on the hot shoe also works well.
2) Add light from other sources like a white or silver reflector panel.
3) Expose for the shadow area, ignoring the bright light source. Often, this means over exposing to what your meter thinks is a correct exposure.
4) Brighten the shadows during the photo editing process with programs like Lightroom or Photoshop.
We recommend you try using fill flash in backlit situations. You'll see how much nicer the light evens out.
Comment by Nikon Canada Ambassador Tony Beck:
When faced with a back-lit situation, I typically open up one or two stops from the exposure setting for sunlight.
If you're uncomfortable with manual exposure settings, check your camera's automatic features to see if you have a setting for back lighting.
Whenever using automatic exposure, check your results right away. If you're disatisfied, try using the exposure compensation feature to correct any errors.