© 2009 Wazari Wazir | Backlighting Portraiture | My Family
When I start as a PRESS Photographers, among few things that bother photographers is “Backlighting”, whether it came from artificial light source or from natural light, sometimes PRESS photographers will shout or ask politely to their subject to move here and there to block the “backlighting”. Backlighting can cause “flare” that make our subject unclear especially on their face. Sometimes photographers will use flash and most of the times they do use flash to bring back light onto their subject face so it does not appear to be dark and it is true that metering is tricky for backlighting.
To cut the story short, I love backlighting but that depend on my subject, as for example on my son pictures above, backlighting really add interest to my son hair, make it glow with rim light, in fact I did position my wife and my son so both of them catch the sunlight. Some of my friends ask me whether I use flash or reflector to fill in the light on my subject face. No I don’t, I don’t use flash and I don’t use reflector, I’m not a fashion photographer and I don’t want my pictures to look like a commercial shot.
I took the metering on my subject face, if you are using PROGRAM Mode on your camera without any customization, your subject may appear dark because your camera will try to get some balance between the bright area and dark area of your subject, your camera exposure meter doesn’t know which one is important and which one is not. I rarely use PROGRAM Mode, most of my shooting are on MANUAL, so I took a reading on my subject face and forget the rest.
Yes the background will be blown out, sometimes there is no details but in this case, like the picture above, the background is not my focus, so I don’t bother about getting the right exposure for that. Very simple and my editing is simple also and you can see I like my pictures especially portraiture to have warm feeling or warm tone, during editing I bump up the temperature a bit until I feel it right.
Actually there is a lot of things going on about that picture above, I plan my shots even before I get out of the house, I’m very particular about my subject clothes, when I see my wife or my son wearing something that I didn’t like, I’ll ask them to change the clothes or there is no photo shooting. For me a great shooting comes from great planning, most peoples doesn’t know what’s get on behind the scene, some people doesn’t bother to look deeply inside a picture and ask themselves why this particular picture work, why this picture grab our attention, why this picture stop us to look at it a little bit longer.
That’s is how I view my favorite pictures on the Web, I stop and look and ask my self, why this pictures work and why some others not. That’s how I learn, I learn by looking at a picture, not just looking, but look deeper, thinking and then absorb the knowledge that can be found on each of a great pictures if we care to look at it more intensely rather than just browsing.
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