Inside: Do you want Killer Backlit Pictures? Are you wondering How to take Backlit Pictures and learn better lighting? It can be a challenge but with these tips it’s sure to help your backlit photography go to a new level.
Hi! I am Justyna.
My photography love has started with Film, when I was just a child, chasing my brother with his gear.
I am a natural light, lifestyle photographer based in Denver, Colorado, with a deep passion for painterly frames. My art continues to be a journey where I open and close doors! Allowing myself the freedom to “notice the unnoticed” and “see” in a new way. I view every frame as a piece of art. Love blur, movement, and emotive imagery!
I’m a mother to a crazy teenager who absolutely loves Lacrosse, two rambunctious labradors: Emma and Jake, and I married my best friend, Blake, for the last 14yrs, and who supports me unconditionally in my love for photography. If you check out the blog now and then, you’re bound to see them.
How to Take Backlit Pictures
What inspires me? Oh my….so many things. Just take a look around you and watch your daily mundane life gives you hints…from a student holding a paintbrush in a unique way, from details around us like the way the hummingbird scouts the new location…Sometimes is nothing more than just wind, poetry, art….Love art! I have always loved watercolors and my dreamy, painterly frames usually are inspired by watercolor artists!
Also, Lensbaby gear…I love shooting with it! Lensbaby way allows me to express my authenticity. It allows me to express my vision. It takes me to a magical world by creating painterly, dreamy, and timeless frames. The blur, the movement, the perfect “imperfections” are the images I absolutely love!
The sun-soaked frames excite me. The backlight makes the dreamiest, most painterly frames, therefore given the choice of any lighting situation I always choose backlight, no matter my subject. I am also known for rescheduling the session if the light is not right. Yes! I “see in light” and it is so worth the wait. It’s all about that buttery, yummy LIGHT.
When, I first started shooting, it took me awhile to figure out what is that “key” element that I always search for that I am drawn to? For as long as I remember I used to gravitate to art…drawing inspiration from the watercolors, I would always prefer an airy feel to my frames.
I wanted to create frames with heart, feel my subject…not just document it. To me…light is everything and the more I shoot, I realize there is so much more…that I have only scratched the surface. It’s kind of like with painting. Have you ever taken a painting class? If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. Study the brushstrokes, the light, the color and contrast. You will be taken to a different world.
- Shoot into the Sun to catch flares.
Before we start talking about the flares I need to warn you. They can be very dangerous for your eyes and safety always first! Flares are my heart. They elevate your work and create a timeless image. When you start incorporating light into your frames you will understand my obsession.
To me, flares are so powerful within the frame and add so much to the story. They complete my frames.
How to Rock Your Shots with Lens Flare has a few additional tips for shooting into the sun!
Flares are created by shooting into the sunlight. They appear effortlessly when the light hits your lens in the corner of your frame. I usually find a flare and then manually focus on the subject.
Yes. Turn off your auto focus. 99% of the time I will shoot with lensbaby gear or freelens , therefore I am so used to manual focus. The best flares are created when the light is diffused by a tree, a building, or your subject. It is not necessary to aim straight at the sun.
Usually, I find that angling my camera slightly to the side or down, or just an optic when shooting lensbaby, or freelensing just a tad while still including the sun in my frame works best for pretty haze.
2. Shoot Raw
I cannot stress enough that shooting raw will help you capture the best details possible and in post processing it’s super easy to add contrast. You will have enormous control over the tones and hues in HSL panel of the Lightroom. I do process 99 % in Lightroom 5. CC and Lightroom 6 had a special “dehaze” slider that works fantastic too for too hazy frames.
3. Rim light/Hair light
Another gorgeous effect to capture is the rim light. It outlines the subject and makes them glow… I love this effect because it adds magical depth to your image.
I usually shoot wide open to add more drama and intensity to the scene. Best way to achieve this is to find a place in the shade and locate your subject covering the sun, expose to the shadows to capture a perfect rim of light.
SOOC for Rim Light:
Edited Rim Light Image:
4. Shoot Manual
No doubt when shooting backlit frames the correct exposure is the key. Always shoot manual when trying to shooting backlit images. Your camera will want to naturally focus on the best lit object in the frame, aim for mid-tones.
SOOC- Raw Image:
Edited- showing you settings:
5. Let GO…embrace the imperfection
Part of being an artist is to experiment and embrace the imperfection. So when you are shooting for flares, haze, learning the LIGHT…be ready for some less perfect images. They are part of the story, a fleeing moment…the emotion. Simply let go…and have fun!
As Kristen from Capturing Joy states that #2 is all about the time of day you shoot! Remember time of day dictates your lighting scenario!!! Schedule your sessions accordingly!
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