Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding dynamic range and backlighting, part of Exploring Photography: Backlighting.
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- A back light situation is almost always…a high dynamic range situation, meaning the range…from the darkest value to the lightest value is very high.…It's a tremendous amount of contrast.…Even though your eye, at the time, can see detail in both…the dark areas and the really light areas,…your camera won't be able to.…So, for example, right now you can see me just fine,…but all of that bright background back there…has no detail in it, it's blown out.…So, there's a creative choice that you have to make.…It is possible to shoot using HDR techniques,…and use other tools to expand contrast.…
It is possible to shoot so that…you can have detail in both.…But the point of a back lit scene is that you want…that drama, of the great back light behind,…casting shadows and changing things in the foreground.…So, you have the creative choice, you can either expose,…to do what we're doing right now, which is to reveal detail…on me, or you can expose to show the detail in the sky.…Neither is right nor wrong,…it's just that you have a choice.…
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.