Creative photo ideas for July: 04 Shoot portraits with backlight
British weather being as it is, we don’t tend to get much of a window of opportunity to experiment with bright, natural backlighting. Thom Bartley used backlight and flare as an intentional part of the composition here.
“I waited for the perfect height of the sun to position myself and the model in an area that allowed me to maximise its effect.
“Because of the strong backlight, the exposure on the model’s face was initially too dark. I had to reduce my shutter speed and produce a brighter exposure, which also boosted the effect of the lens flare. I made a few test frames at varying exposures until I found the perfect one, and then shot away.”
Position yourself so that the model blocks most of the light, and lock the camera’s focus on their face. Then shift your position to vary the amount of sun in the frame, taking plenty of shots as you do so.
Get started today…
* Shoot in raw format to get more flexibility for fine-tuning exposure and white balance.
* Use Aperture Priority to get the initial exposure settings down, then transfer these to Manual.
* Use wide apertures and standard to moderate telephoto lenses.
* You’re intelligent – you don’t need us to tell you not to look directly at the sun through the viewfinder. So we won’t. But don’t…
PAGE 1: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 01 Shoot the passage of time
PAGE 2: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 02 Shoot seabirds
PAGE 3: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 03 Shoot dew covered bugs
PAGE 4: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 04 Shoot portraits with backlight
PAGE 5: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 05 Shoot toys as travel props
PAGE 6: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 06 Shoot environmental portraits
PAGE 7: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 07 Add a vignette
PAGE 8: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 08 Shoot a photography hotspot
PAGE 9: Creative Photo Ideas for July – 09 Shoot pictures with water as the main subject
Free family portrait photography cheat sheet
Studio Lighting: 4 seriously simple lighting techniques to try at home
Flash photography tips: external flash techniques anyone can understand
Break the rules: become a pro at using backlight to add drama to any photo