Quick Momtographer Tip
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07/18/2016
By Jennifer Lebo
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Hello and happy Monday!  I've got another momtography tip for you today, and it's a great one for summer!

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but the sun is looming large and wonderfully here in our beautiful Rocky Mountain State, and so today's tip is about embracing that sun and playing with it a little bit.

Today I'm going to talk with you about backlighting.  

Simply put, backlighting is when your light source (the sun in this case) is actually behind your subject and you are shooting into that light.  It can be tricky, but it's fun to play around with, and you can capture some soft and stunning images this way.

A few simple tips to help you on your way to backlighting.

1. USE A REFLECTOR

I know that not all of you own fancy photographer's reflectors, and that's ok.  I've used white poster board, or even just my white shirt.  If I know I'm going to try backlighting and won't have an actual reflector (or someone else to hold one), I make sure to wear white.  Even that will help to reflect some of the light behind your subject onto her face.

 

2. EXPOSE FOR YOUR SUBJECT

When you are trying to backlight, your camera will want to expose for the scene behind your subject, especially if you are shooting with your phone or on automatic.  What will happen then, is that you'll have a lovely sky and a dark, underexposed subject.  Not what you want for a portrait.  So make sure you expose for her.  On your phone or on auto, that means making sure that red square that lights up is on her face, not the sky.  You'll overexpose the sky and background a bit, but your subject will be nicely lit.

3. KEEP PRACTICING!!!

Backlighting is not easy, but it's worth trying out.  Don't get discouraged if you struggle at first.  You might underexpose your subject, or completely blow out the entire shot.  So what?  That's the fun of digital photography!  We're not wasting film anymore, so you can practice until you understand it better.  

Backlighting offers a completely different look to the typical front lit images.  Rather than deep contrasts, you'll have a much softer image, where your lines almost blur.  It's not easy, but it can be a lot of fun.

Try your hand at backlighting today.  And then keep trying.  You'll love it!

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