Free Workshop How To Shoot Like a PRO With Your DSLR
3 Secrets to Beautiful Backlit Photos
Beautifully backlit photos are dreamy, warm, golden, whimsical… what’s not to love? But there’s more to creating a stunning backlit photo than finding light and putting it behind your subject.
Click Love Grow Instructor Merissa Wakefield is a master of backlighting, and she has shared her top 3 secrets for nailing your backlit photos!
1. Balance Your Exposure
When taking backlit photos it can be really tricky to expose your subject correctly so that you don’t blow the highlights or end up with your subject in too much shadow.
So in order to balance this you can choose to shoot at a time of day when the light isn’t too strong. Then position your subject in places where you get the beautiful golden backlight that is slightly diffused, and use your metering (or your eye) to find that sweet spot so you can bring the photo to life in editing so it really shines.
Backlighting is one of the scenarios where shooting raw and editing is a key part of achieving the final look.
The sweet spot between maintaining detail in your highlights and not underexposing your subject too much.
Backlight diffused by the horizon and the trees.
When shooting backlit photos your subject can end up with their faces in too much shadow, losing detail in their eyes.
So always aim to capture catch lights in their eyes to illuminate them and ensure their eyes don’t lose their sparkle, and when backlit you can do this by ensuring you have a big open expanse of sky behind you to bounce light back onto them.
Shoot backlit photos with open sky behind you to bounce light back onto your subject’s face.
Catchlights for the win!
3. Positioning for Backlit Photos
You don’t have to shoot directly into the light when taking backlit photos. Experiment with where you position your subject in relation to the light, and have it just out of frame. Let in some flare if you like, or adjust yourself to avoid it. You can really get creative and artistic with this effect and it will help to expose your subject.
Position subjects to sidelight them and compose with the sun just outside the edge of your frame.
Play with haze and lens flares.
Merissa Wakefield is a Click Love Grow Advanced Grad, Instructor, and professional family photographer based in Melbourne, Australia at Merissa Wakefield Photography.
If you want to see pullbacks and set-up techniques to achieve these looks, we’ll be sharing all that and so much more on our next Creative Workshop, Secrets of Beautiful Backlight with Merissa Wakefield! We begin on 5th October… register your interest here to get an email the moment we open up spots!