The easiest backlighting techniques to try now

If you have been struggling with hazy images, chances are you have attempted to photograph backlit images during your sessions. Counterintuitively, backlighting is the technique of placing a subject against the source of light ( hey, Sun hey! ) making lighting the subject a hard thing to do. Backlighting has been one of the techniques that I perform at almost 100% of my sessions when the weather allows it because to me nothing beats breaking the rules sometimes and a golden hour session just oozes warmth, love and connection. Besides, the adds drama, textures and killer depth in your final gallery. While this has allowed me to grow my techniques tremendously, it has been done at the expense of many ( I mean MANY ) hazy images, out of focus shots, and countless failed attempts. Below are some of the easiest techniques I have used to master backlighting in any locations and situations. Let's dive right in!


A lot of people struggle with the right time for your shoot to utilize backlighting to its fullest potential. A midday lighting is too harsh to compliment your subject and often leaves unflattering shadows. Choose sunrise ( an hour prior ) or sunset ( 45 minutes prior ) for the best results as the sun is inching up or down the horizon - lighting up the sky evenly.


Oftentimes, your surrounding will allow for plenty of natural diffusers. For gentle backlit sun, position your location where you can utilize things around you to diffuse the strength of the sun. Using natural resources such as trees, mountains or even building to soften your shot. This helps in avoiding the hazy images you often get when a backlit sun is directly above the client.


This is one of my all time favourite techniques. If the location I am using does not have light colored resources ( light pavements, sandy beaches, etc ) , I wear a white shirt to my session. Odd technique ( I agree ) but my shirt acts as a natural reflector when I am shooting close to my subject as the sun behind them hits and in turn reflects and lights up my subject's face. I use this technique alot to achieve a well-balanced backlit image. MOVE CONSTANTLY!

One of my favourite motto during a session is, "If I am not moving, I am not doing it right". Working with backlighting can be tricky and experimental. One way that could teach you what movement and angles could do is by moving yourself around your subjects. For example, if you have a seated client in an open field, here are some angles you could try : 1. Shoot for the subject with the sun directly behind the client

2. Shoot angling down with the sun above the client

3. Shoot to their sides with the sun peeking through the other side 4. Shoot at eye level with the sun above the client You will find that shooting #4 will cause the most haze, while shooting #1 and #3 will significantly reduce haziness, and improve your camera's focus. This is because you are utilizing your subjects to diffuse your light without making them move 43484576 times in the process.


BONUS : SET YOUR CAMERA ACCORDINGLY It is easier said than done but setting your camera accordingly significantly eases the process and lighten your post-production work load. Here are some settings that works for me : 1. High aperture in camera to reduce chances of off-focus shots and creating beautiful sun-rays.

2. Exposing for the lightest part in my surrounding ( eg : clouds, sands etc ) to save the details in my highlights.

3. Setting up my White balance to kelvin and photograph between 600-700k for the extra warmth.

4. Using a lens hood to minimize the amount of light that passes through my lens.

I hope these tips encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone and master those backlighting technique. I cannot wait to see what you came up with so feel free to chat with me here : Until next time friends,

Suneeta A BEC Leader

Self Proclaimed Hype Girl

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