April 27, 2012

Look for the Light.

Backlight that is.

My favourite kind of lighting situation. I thought that I understood this wonderful lighting technique & how to find locations with it, that is until I read my friend for life Melissa Jill's blog post. (What, one lunch doesn't make us FFL?!?! I made her a SCARF! If that doesn't make us FFL, I don't know what would!) Melissa wrote an amazing series on her blog about locations and it really changed how I looked for locations, she's such a photography genius - you need to go and read her blog. Now, go now.

My favourite post was the one on lighting. I was always looking for locations that had great backgrounds first and then within that find the best light. BUT great light can make a good photo GREAT - no matter the background. And, as I already mentioned, backlighting is my favourite way to light a photo. Melissa does a better job explaining, but here's my own humble attempt.

Look for a spot that has a long shadow - usually buildings, trees, tall structures provide this - and that doesn't have too busy or distracting of a background. Then place your subject(s) feet on the spot were the shadow ends, with their back to the shaded area, facing you. This way the subject's whole body/face will be in shaded and be the same exposure as most of the background BUT the sun will be hitting the back of their bodies/heads giving them almost a glowing look that really makes them stand out in the photo.

I was able to put this wonderful technique into practice recently. This is the parking lot I used for Darren & Mallorey's engagement session.
Yes, really not a pretty parking lot. At all. But, by having Darren & Mallorey stand right where the shadow ended (the spot the red arrow is pointing to) ....

.....I was able to capture some of my favourite images from their session.



I also put this technique into use on Geoff & Kandace's session! We were in a regular ol' back alley with nothing special going on in the background but the light makes this an amazing photo of them :)


Both of these are locations I would have NEVER used before - but, by changing my mindset and looking for great light rather than great backgrounds I was able to capture some wonderful images.

Please let me know if you have any questions or I made NO SENSE trying to explain this :) Or you know, just go and read Melissa Jill's blog ;)

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