Workshop: Backlit is beautiful

Workshop: Backlit is beautiful

Workshop: Backlit is beautiful


Sometimes, when I’m out on a shoot, the person I’m photographing will look back at the sun behind them, then turn back with terror in their eyes: “Hey I’m backlit. Isn’t this a bad thing?”

Maybe… but I love backlit photography. For me, it’s a way of creating striking silhouettes that capture the imagination; creating deep shadows that add shape to the composition; creating harder contrasts to isolate a subject…

Obviously, if you want silhouettes, don't over-expose

Obviously, if you want silhouettes, don’t over-expose

The trick is to shoot manual and over-expose.

There’s no hard and fast rule to this – just over-expose until the subject looks like it’s properly exposed.

Don’t worry so much about the background being over-exposed. If you’re shooting in RAW, you can probably recover quite a lot of it anyway in post.

The over-exposed background isolates the subject pretty well, doesn't it?

The over-exposed background isolates the subject pretty well, doesn’t it?

 

I also used to worry a lot about patchy over-exposure, but they’re actually brilliant for black-and-whites.

This works just as well as a black-and-white

This works just as well as a black-and-white

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