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The Complete Guide to Backlighting in Photography
In photography, what is backlighting? And how can you take stunning backlit photos?
That is the topic of this article. I’ll go through everything you need to know about backlighting so that at the end of this article, you’ll know:
The light that emanates from behind the subject is referred to as backlighting. Backlighting, in other terms, shines straight into the camera lens from the rear of the subject.
Front lighting, on the other hand, comes from behind the photographer and strikes the subject from the front as shown in the picture
Because backlight emanates from behind the subject, photographs with a bright background and a dark subject are more common. You may even achieve a silhouette effect, in which the subject is shown in a detailed black.
Artificial lighting may be used to generate backlighting by simply positioning the light source behind the subject.
Backlighting can be generated in nature as well, but only when the sun is at an angle to your subject, which is why most photographers utilize it late in the day, during the golden hours. They set up the subject such that the light is coming from behind it, and then they shoot directly into the sun!
Related Article: 6 TIPS FOR STUNNING NATURAL LIGHT PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY
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2) When to employ backlighting
Backlighting is dramatic, as I said in the last section. It frequently produces silhouettes, golden haloes around the subject, and/or brightly colored background.
Backlighting is therefore ideal for creating magnificent, eye-catching effects. Here are a few examples of photographs you can create with backlighting.
- silhouettes on the street
- silhouettes of people
- bird or bird-in-flight silhouettes
- Portraits with lovely bokeh in the backdrop
- Macro shots with lovely bokeh in the backdrop
- Landscapes during sunset and morning
- silhouettes of landscapes
While backlighting is beautiful, it’s not perfect for creating documentary-style photos of architecture, goods, animals, and other subjects. Front lighting or side lighting is usually the preferable choice in these scenarios, as it produces a lot of detail on the subject. As a result, most photographers employ backlighting.
3) How to Capture beautiful backlit images
You may achieve shots like this by lighting your subjects from behind.
Shooting late in the day, when the sun is at its weakest, is crucial. And, even if it means the subject will be overexposed, expose it with the backdrop in mind.
Nature images with backlighting may be stunning.
And if you start looking for a light, you’ll see photos like these all over the place. In fact, going out into nature and simply experimenting with your subjects between the camera and the sun is one of the finest methods to master backlighting.
Backlighting is best practiced during sunrise and dusk. Look for circumstances where your subjects are at a reasonable distance from you; it also helps to know where the sun will be at dawn and nightfall. Due to the difficulty of metering with backlight, I like to use Aperture Priority to manage depth of field and then adjust in exposure correction to get my pictures as light or dark as I desire.
4) Silhouette backlighting
One unique method to employ backlighting is to completely hide your topic. The term for this method is silhouette backlighting, and it can be a fun and imaginative way to highlight people, animals, and other objects.
By shooting straight into the light source, you may now generate silhouette photographs that totally shade your subject.
People aren’t the only ones who can benefit from silhouettes. All it takes is a little ingenuity and a desire to try something new to apply silhouette backlighting for a range of themes.