I distinctly remember during High School Yearbook class, watching tons of team photos being taken with kids all facing the sun. Its one of the first rules many photographers are taught to ensure a well lit subject. I hate that rule!
Facing the sun makes for squinty subjects. And if you’re subjects are kids – like most of mine – its almost impossible to get them to look at you if it means they have to look towards the sun. That’s why rules are meant to be broken! I love to practice shooting subjects with nice back lighting, it can create some beautiful shots.
With back lighting you can get some of my favorite effects – silhouettes! And one thing I’m still practicing to get right, getting a nice sun flare in the shot. There are a lot of different looks you can get with back lighting – balance it with other light (natural, reflected or artificial), or an extreme backlight will give you the silhouette, or something more subtle. Endless possibilities! And it takes some practice to get the look you want.
Here are some of my shots and how I used back lighting to give you some ideas.
These first 3 shots are natural light and back light by the sun.
The shot is exposed for the subject but the light is very strong from behind.
These 3 below are more extremely back lit.
The shot is exposed for the brighter background and that caused the subject to be silhouetted.
The next 3 shots are all back lit by the sun with a flash used to add light to the subject to balance it out.
Without the flash, the subject would have been darker or silhouetted.
These last 2 are natural light (no flash) and back lit by the sun.
Exposed for the subjects but I moved so they were in between me and the sun.
So, get out there and practice some back lit shots! Feel free to email me some of your favorites and I’ll post them on a follow up post soon! Thanks for stopping by…