Backlighting can add drama to almost any subject, from leaves to hair, to smoke, to glassware. In this course, photographer, author, and educator Ben Long explores the creative options and exposure challenges behind backlighting in several difference scenarios, from landscapes to portraits, using both natural and artificial light sources.
Skill Level Intermediate
- You'll hear it from every photo teacher in the world because it's true. Photography is absolutely completely about light, and you will spend the rest of your photographic life exploring light and learning more about it, and understanding more how to interact with it. In this course, we're going to look specifically at backlight. Backlight is a challenging type of light to work with, but it's one that can lend a tremendous amount of drama to a scene. It can provide a look that you normally don't see because we're so used to having the sun behind us and looking at what is being illuminated, rather than looking back at what is illuminating our scene.
Whether you're shooting into the sun, or into an artificial light source, backlighting can lend a lot of drama to your scene. Things in your scene will highlight differently. You'll see graphic lines that you didn't see before. Shadows will cast towards you, rather than away from you. All of these things allow you to compose in a very different way. They also mean that you face some challenges that you don't face with normal lighting. Lens flare, dust on your lens, trying to keep the light source itself out of your shot. All of these things are things you'll be wrestling with as you turn around and face into the light.
So, find some subject matter and grab your camera. Let's take a look at light from the front.