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Tips for Shooting with Backlight

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Tips for Shooting with Backlight

Postby chicagotech » Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:14 pm

1. Filter the sun (Diffusing the sun). Find a location where the sun can be partially covered to your camera, while still allowing the light to shine onto your subjects. Locations that can help accomplish this look can be buildings or trees. This will still help you to achieve a beautiful backlit portrait while not needing to be in a location that has nothing to diffuse the light with, such as an open field. place the sun just outside the frame or partly behind the model:
2. Choose the Right Time of Day. in the morning after the sun rises or right before it sets at the end of the day (often known as golden hour).
3. Use Spot Metering and Focus. In addition to spot metering, try using manual mode when focusing rather than automatic. Sometimes in harsh lighting situations, your camera can have difficulties knowing where to focus, and you can end up with a blurry image. To avoid this, switch to manual mode. It may take you a few additional seconds to capture the shot, but knowing that your image is in focus is well worth it.
4. Use a lens hood. A lens hood is cheap and easy to use, and is a great way to reduce haze in your back lit images.
5. Stand in the shade. By physically planting yourself in a shady location, you eliminate the problems that arise with the sunlight coming directly into your lens. If there is no shade available, try shooting with the sun at a slight angle to your camera. Make sure it is not coming straight into your lens – unless you are shooting to purposefully include haze and sun flare.
6. Avoid open sky behind your subject. Open sky is great behind YOU, but not so great behind your subject. If you are properly exposing for your subject’s skin tones, that sky will blow out and be nothing but one big, ugly, distracting white blob in your photo that will steal attention from your subject. Remember, our eyes settle on the brightest thing in a photo. You don’t want that to be a blown out sky! I made sure that golden grass filled the frame behind Elliott. This kept the color palette warm and neutral, and kept the focus on him, where it belonged.
On occasion, I will purposefully photograph the open sky behind my subject if I plan on doing a composite to include the sunset in my image.
7. Add Flash and reflection.
8. CAMERA SETTINGS. The picture has to be significantly overexposed, otherwise the model will turn out completely dark and the background/sky correctly lit. The aperture varies from f/2.8 to maximum f/5.6. Mostly it varies from 1/100 to 1/640 seconds. Second, the camera’s focus. One of the hardest parts of shooting the perfect backlit portrait is control the focus. Cameras are definitely not very fond of shooting against the sun – frequently the autofocus does not work at all. You might look in the viewfinder just to realize that you are completely blinded, and cannot see your subject by any chance. This is one of the most problematic parts of shooting with backlighting. Give up trying to make it work with autofocus; it is an extremely time consuming process. Either ask your model to block the sun and get your autofocus right in order to shift to manual, or simply try to adjust the focus and keep a fixed distance to the model. Third, keep your ISO as low as possible. There will be plenty of light to work with. All the shown photographs are shot with ISO 100.
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