Backlit portraits can be dramatic and beautiful, especially if you know how to set up your camera. In this show, I explain three sure-fire techniques for great backlit portraits.
The normal progression I go through when working outside with these types of shots is this:
- First, I position the model with the sun shining on her hair, then take a few test shots. This helps me evaluate the lighting.
- Then I switch to spot meter mode and take an exposure reading off her face.
- I'll often try adding light via reflectors or using natural reflection from the surroundings.
- If none of these techniques work the way I want, I'll then use fill flash. I might use fill flash also if I'm covering an event and have to work quickly.
The sample you see here uses the walkway to bounce light up into the model's face. She is kneeling down to be closer to the reflected surface, and to add variety to the poses we experimented with during the shoot.
Photo by Derrick Story using a Canon 5D Mark II with a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS zoom lens.
Listen to the Podcast
Monthly Photo Assignment
Simple is the Sept. 2009 Photo Assignment. My original thought was the power that comes from a simple composition, with as few elements as possible. But you might find another twist on this month's theme. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Sept. 30, 2009.
More Ways to Participate
Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. It's a blast!
SiteGrinder lets you take ownership of your websites. Effortlessly output pages right from Photoshop.
Red River Paper -- Try the $7.99 Sample Kit.
Add Magic to Your Slideshows -- FotoMagico presentations are so amazing that your audience will be asking how you did it.