Trends You Need To Know: Backlighting Photos

Backlighting creates a pleasant rim of light around subjects, separating them from a background. Here are several suggestions to create images glow. When photographing a backlit subject, be certain that your camera light metre does not translate all the light hitting on it – unless your preferred result is a silhouette. Set your camera’s Exposure Compensation to somewhere between -1 and -2, based upon the strength of backlight. This retains detail in shadow regions of a subject. When subjects are close, use a reflector to bounce some softness on the front of your subject. A reflector adds light without utilizing a flash.

Essential things for backlighting

Position a reflector in such a way that softness fills the darker side of a subject or a face. It is possible to purchase reflectors created specifically for photography, or create one yourself. The target is to retain detail in items on a floor without washing out the sky. Using sunrises and sunsets, one general principle is to metre on the sky using the sun just out from the bottom of a camera frame. Filter – you might also help balance tones of the ground and sky by using a graduated neutral density filter, which are dark in the top and progressively fade into clear.

Shoot multiple exposures, called bracketing, of a backlight scene with various configurations, expose one shot for the sky and one for the ground. You will need to merge separate pictures when you process images using an editing program which supports layers. Some digital cameras have a High Dynamic Range shooting mode that allows to smoother transitions between darker and lighter colors. Three shots are taken at various exposures and combined together in a camera. Like any photographic technique, practice makes a picture perfect.