Friday, August 29, 2008

Use back light to change the look of your photo

It is a time tested truth concerning photography. Use back-light to create a glow and change the impact of the picture. In this image the light was behind the subject and created an amazing silhouette. If I would have used a flash or if I exposed for the subject to be lit, the mood of the image would be much different. It would be flat and although the subject is beautiful, the mystery of the image would disappear.

The first image was spot metered and shot at f/5.6 and 1/3 of a second @ 260mm [hand held]. I was a good distance from the subject in the sound booth [which provides me a different vantage point than audience]. Although I hand-held this shot, I use the railing of the sound booth to 'rest' my left elbow and utilize it as a mono pod. [Pretty slick that God equipped us with a built-in mono pod :-] ).

In the second and third image we utilized hot lights to create the back lighting effect. Although the third image is heavily processed in Lightroom, you can see the effect of back lighting. Why does any of this matter? Imagine you are in a situation where you want to take a picture of a child, toddler, adult, cat, dog, etc.. Position yourself and your camera in a manner that allows the light to wrap around the subject. Remember the statement, we are taking pictures of light with a subject in it. When the light wraps around the subject, it creates a look with dimension. It reduces the 'flat' look that is prevalent in many images.

Next take your camera off auto and practice with manual. If you are taking a picture in your house of a child, toddler, adult, dog, etc, then turn off the overhead light and utilize a lamp or table light as the main source of light. Yes, you might need to bump your ISO to 800 to capture enough light but the great aspect of digital. Instant feedback! Experiment with the lighting. Get the light behind or to the side of the subject.

Last tip for today. Change your position relative to the subject. In the third image, I was below eye level and shot up which created a different effect to the image. Get out and capture life's beauty!

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