How to take a good backlight?

When summer comes, the sun becomes terrible again. Even the time for taking pictures has to change with the passage of time. The weather is hot and I don’t want to go out. The light outside is too strong. What can I do to take good pictures in the fierce sun? Especially when the light source is behind the model, it is easy to take pictures of the subject in full black or the background in full white. It is a matter of study to clearly show the details of the subject and the background.

Of course, the backlight photo does not necessarily mean that the light source is just behind the subject. We can broadly understand that the light source appears in a range behind the subject, while the front of the subject is in the backlight area. If we need to take a picture at a position with direct and dazzling backlight, because the light directly shoots into the lens, it is likely to cause glare in the picture. The glare has two sides. On the one hand, it may interfere with the expression of the picture or may also cause the picture to lose detail, but it may also make the picture look more interesting and dramatic. How to understand the role of glare in the picture depends on our own understanding and needs.

If you want to make the picture free of glare, you need to block the path where the light directly shines into the lens. The most effective way is to use a hood or find a shelter on the lens. For example, when shooting indoors or outdoors, or in the shade of a tree, the shadow will block unnecessary light and make the image less fuzzy.

If you want to make the front of the model in the backlight environment have sufficient exposure, it may be difficult to achieve the dynamic range of the camera alone, because if you measure the light against the strong light on the back, the front of the model will be obviously underexposed, while if you measure the light against the front of the model, the background will be overexposed. At this time, it is necessary to use some external supplementary light sources, such as supplementary flash, so that the face of the model can be exposed correctly and the underexposed part of the image can be lit with flash.

In an ideal state, the supplementary flash should not be an external flash directly facing the subject. The front plane lighting will make the model lose its stereoscopic sense. The supplementary flash should have enough freedom to adjust the angle and intensity of light on the model’s face.

In fact, for most backlight photography, we want to take a beautiful silhouette photo. Sometimes, we can tell stories through silhouettes. Because of the strong contrast of brightness between the foreground and the background, we can not see any details on the subject in the foreground. We can only see a dark outline. We cannot see their expressions, so we cannot perceive their emotions. Everything requires us to guess the possible stories with images.

Because all emotions are possible, this is one of the reasons why some silhouettes are fascinating. By forcing the viewer to think through the missing details, the viewer will also develop different stories due to different ideas.

First of all, we should understand that the formation of silhouette is caused by the contrast between the subject and the background that exceeds the dynamic range of the camera. If you want to expose the background correctly, the subject will be underexposed. If you want to expose the subject correctly, the background will be overexposed. Therefore, one of the basic requirements for taking silhouette photos is to place the subject under a strong light source and make the subject face away from the strong light source.

If the artificial light source is not used deliberately, the best place to take silhouettes is in the morning or evening. The sun is close to the horizon and can be used as the light source in the background. Exposure to the sun can darken the image as a whole, making it easier to create a contour. Even if you reduce the exposure of many gears, the sun will not be underexposed, nor will it produce annoying highlights. And in this period of time, the light is soft and golden, which will produce a beautiful golden glow around the main body.

When taking a silhouette, the geometric shape and guide line of the image will be more emphasized in the picture. Try to arrange the elements in the screen, use the guide line to guide the viewer’s line of sight to the main body, and ensure that there are no redundant elements behind the main body that will interfere with the overall contour. Unless you want to be independent and create intentionally, the branches behind the subject may make people think that the subject has become a spider.

One of the simplest ways to avoid background interference is to reduce the camera angle and shoot from top to bottom. This oblique perspective will turn the subject’s background into an empty sky, minimizing the interference. Most of the silhouette photos straight out of the camera may not be as we like, because the camera is too smart, so smart that it always wants to be smart. If you want to get a perfect silhouette photo, you still need to make post adjustment, increase the contrast between the subject and the background, and adjust the tone.