Thursday, October 11, 2012
It's been a little difficult this week trying to write about sunshine and shadows when it's been raining here for days. Well, I guess the writing part hasn't been difficult, but rather the "taking photos to accompany the writing part." However, I keep humming the song from Terri's post on Tuesday, and remembering the lyrics, "it don't matter if it's raining, nothing can phase me, I make my own sunshine..." So, in a way, that's what I've done, by searching my archives to find photos to accompany my words.
Today I'm talking about the sunshine portion of our "sunshine and shadows" theme, and showing you how using sunlight to back light your photos can enhance them in different ways.
Back lighting your photos can bring out intricate details in your subject:
Or can create soft bokeh:
Back lighting can create rim lighting, where the subject is softly outlined in a halo of light:
Or can create a soft glow, giving your subject an ethereal feel:
Back lighting can create silhouetted areas, while making your highlighted area "pop":
Or can create shadows to add interest:
And back lighting can create sun flare:
All of these different looks can be achieved by using the sun as back lighting.
Granted, back lighting your subject can be challenging from an exposure point of view, since there's so much contrast between the highlights and the shadows, but there are two important things that I pay attention to when I'm using the sun as back lighting:
1. The angle of the sun. It needs to be low, and behind my subject, not above my subject. Shooting in early to mid morning, or late afternoon to early evening works best. And..
2. Spot metering. By using spot metering, the camera is taking the light reading from the small area of your focus. It's not picking up all of the background light and won't overexpose your shot.
I hope you get out in the sunshine and make your own back lit creations. It's amazing how many different looks you can get by using this one type of light source. Please continue to post your sunshine and shadows photos in our flickr group, and label them "Sunshine & Shadows" to be considered for our weekly INFOCUS selection. I've been amazed at all of the beautiful photos there so far!