Monday, July 23, 2007

Photo Challenge #1: Backlighting

Backlighting in photography refers to the softening of a subject by the sunlight (or equivalent light source) coming from behind them instead of being directional (i.e. from the top-left, top-right, etc.) It can be a more difficult way to shoot because, especially when the backlighting is stronger, it can have a tendency to "trick" a camera or a meter into darkening the subject, although some photographers will compensate for this by using a fill flash. The effect, no matter what, is worth it because of the natural softness that the effect adds.

backlit flower

So, this first challenge is a tougher one for newcomers to photography and is to shoot a subject in backlighting. Things to watch for are how you place your subject or the position from where you shoot it: remember that the subject's back does not have to be the part that is backlit. The main thing to remember is that shooting backlight means that you are shooting toward/facing the sun or light source.

wedding couple x 2
(Note: this is partially backlit & partially directional but used as an illustraion of how a subject could be placed for backlighting)

Digital Add-on Challenge

Check your software to see if you have a High Pass feature available. In Photoshop, this is found under Filter--> Other. The name of the filter itself is misleading and many will skip over it but take a few minutes to explore it because it is versatile. I have included examples below: the more embossed result came from a lower pixel radius size while the colour alteration result came from the maximum pixel radius.

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