Tip of the Day – Backlighting compromises

Tip of the Day – Backlighting compromises

Image 4 of 5 of Dutchie’s Session in the series Creating Variety in Your Dog Photography Sessions

Backlighting can be a tricky lighting technique to master. Ideally, when you’re shooting towards the sun, it’s best to “filter” the sun through something – so make sure you don’t have bare sky in the background. To properly expose the dog (which you’re essentially shooting the shaded side of) the sky will always be overexposed. Fill flash would help, but that’s a whole different topic!

When filtering the light, foliage is ideal, as this also means you end up with specular highlights in the background which your lens converts into bokeh – pretty! If there isn’t a solid screen of bushes or trees behind your subject, you may end up with some very bright areas of sky behind the dog. With this image, I wasn’t able to completely get rid of the bright areas in the background as there just wasn’t enough trees, so I made sure Dutchie was carefully placed (lucky she had a good stay!) and I changed my angle so that the very bright areas weren’t directly behind her.

Although I realise the bright spots aren’t ideal, I don’t feel they make the image unusable as it’s a super cute photo of Dutchie that (most importantly) I knew her mum would love. Sometimes you just have to compromise!

Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II @ 100mm, ISO 800, 1/640 sec, f/2.8

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