Break the rules: become a pro at using backlight to add drama to any photo

Master the backlight effect

Backlighting Portraits


Backlighting portraits, either in a studio or on location, can be particularly effective. When both the subject and backlight are positioned correctly, the latter will produce a striking rim-light around your subject’s head, and will give hair a soft, wispy glow.

Not only is this flattering, it also helps the subject stand out against 
a darker background.

Backlighting Portraits: evaluative metering

Evaluative metering

In our first shot (above), Evaluative metering has resulted in under-exposure, as the camera’s light meter has exposed the shot so that the background is correctly exposed.

Backlighting Portraits: spot metering

Spot metering

In the second shot (above), Spot metering on the subject’s face has resulted in a better exposure. The background is blown out, but in this case it doesn’t really matter.

PAGE 1: What is backlighting?
PAGE 2: 3 ways to achieve backlight effects in-camera
PAGE 3: Backlighting portraits
PAGE 4: Crucial backlighting tips to remember


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