Shooting with Natural Light: Backlight Technique

Stop using flash and start using natural light for photography. When done right you’ll be amazed by the results. The truth is practicing doesn’t mean you’ll be great at it but it will help you understand how light works. So let’s start with backlight. Many photographers especially wedding photographers utilize this technique to capture their subject. It’s obvious why they use it. if your subject is facing the sun you’ll capture the awkward squint and odd shadow covering half of their faces. Lighting is tricky, but let’s move on. Backlighting means the light source is coming from behind your subject. In order to achieve this you (the photographer) have to be facing the sun and your subject will be facing you. Basically, your subject is positioned in between you and the sun. Although it’s important the backlight is behind our subject, what is behind you is also important. If your back is dark and closed there is no light facing your subject, so make sure you’re behind a clear and open space. Tips: 1. Make sure your camera is in manual mode, so you’ll have full control over exposure. 2. Set it to Spot metering. Test a few shots and review your histogram. Make sure your subject isn’t overexposed or underexposed. After you adjust the settings and you’re happy, leave it as-is. 3. When to shoot? During the morning or evening (golden hour) your subject will appear dewy and soft (This is probably the easiest to shoot, but you might need a reflector if you’re shooting a portrait shot). During mid-day you can also get good results. The trick is to have your subject behind the sun along with a dark background. Image Samples Courtesy: Morning Backlight - http://ninamacephotography.comBacklight: Mid-day Backlight - Evening Backlight -

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