Jamie’s tips on backlighting
Light plays a very essential part of photography. As photographers, we factor in the time of day, the type of light, and direction of the light to help create the images we envision. Understanding how to properly use and control light can make all the difference in the world. Side light can add depth, emphasize emotion and help to define the details within your image, while backlight will also help to create depth and can add to the overall story of your images. Backlight also tends to be the more preferred lighting choice for many portrait photographers including myself. There are many different ways in which you can incorporate backlight into your images to create various looks. Here are my top 3 favorite tips for working with backlight.
1. Shoot during golden hour.
Golden Hour is known as the hour just after sunrise and just before sunset. It is the hour when the sun is closet to the horizon, yielding the softest light of the day. The light also takes on a beautiful golden hue which can be very pleasing and highly sought after in portrait photography. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the light becomes more intense and harder to balance between the exposure of your subject and your scene, unless you are working with off camera lighting.
2. Change your position.
Where you stand in relation to the sun will determine how much haze or sun flare you capture in your camera. Standing directly in front of the sun, will create a very strong haze while positioning yourself at a 45 degree angle to the sun will help to define more of the details within your image while still maintaining the backlight effect. If you are in an area with some trees, you can also position yourself to filter the light through the trees and onto the back of your subject. This will help to control the intensity of the light coming into your scene and also helps to create beautiful bokeh in the background.
3. Use a reflector.
While it’s not always ideal, especially when working with multiple subjects, using a reflector can help bounce the light back onto your subjects making it easier to achieve a more pleasing exposure for your subjects face. It will also help to create beautiful catchlights in the eyes.