Okay, I don’t know about you guys but I am SO done with this cold weather!!! Bring on the warm sunshine and fresh blooms! One of my favorite parts of spring and summer is the long days and the absolutely stunning golden light!!!! Backlit images are something that every photographer wants to master! The low and big sun can be a very intimidating thing, I mean it’s a giant ball of light hanging right behind your clients head! But the sun is something you should never be afraid of when it comes to shooting! It’s your best friend! But we all know that if you just let that huge sun hang behind your clients head, it’s not going to turn out the way that you’re imaging! It’s probably gonna look blown out, you’re going to lose definition in your clients face/body and you’re probably going to have crazy sun flares! So let’s talk about how you can master getting those perfect backlit images!
Okay, so we are going to look at these three images from my stunning senior Hannah! These images where all taken at the same spot within 15 mins of each other! Even though they were taken at the same spot in pretty much the same lighting conditions you can see that they all have TOTAL different light!
Okay so lets start with images 1 to the left! This image is perfectly backlit! You can see the sun hitting her face just right, creating the dimension of highlights and shadows on her face without blowing anything out in the image. But notice the background. You can see that I am shooting very tight, the sun is coming from the right hand side just above the tree line, the key in this image is that I am NOT letting the sun into my frame. I am shooting very tight to Hannah’s face only allowing the sun to light her face and not let any of the sun into my frame. Now I also want to point out that this is a situation where I didn’t have ANYTHING to break up the light, if the sun were just a tad bit lower, the trees would help break it up and we would have a gorgeous golden light, but the sun was just above the tree line. I wanted to still get the effect of a backlight image without making it too blown out!
Image 2 is a little bit different. You can see that I have taken a few steps back from Hannah, and have allowed more light to come through my frame. If you compare image 1 and image 2 you can see that we have lost a little bit of Hannah’s definition in her face and body! This is because we are allowing too much of that unblocked light into our frame, giving us a haze over our images.
Now image 3 is a fully blown out sun flared image, which I kind of like! It’s totally up to your preference if you like images like this, but you can now see why this image is the most blown out. You can literally see the sun in the right hand corner, and see that it is not being blocked or broken up by anything. I am allowing about 1/3 of the sun into my frame which is gonna to give me all those gorgeous flares, however you can see that this image has the least definition of my subject!
All 3 images are images that I delivered to Hannah, because I like to give my clients variety and sometimes I really love a good sun flared image! The sun is something that you should never be afraid of no matter what condition you are in because if you know to to manipulate your clients body position with the sun, and control the amount of sun that allowed in your frame you can get perfectly lit images any time of the day! 🙂