The basics of backlight

Taking a picture with a backlight can be fantastic. But it can also end up in complete failure. Of course, one of this is wanted and the other is not. But controlling this by your selfe is not always that easy. Footage in backlight has its own ways of working.

Taking a photo with backlight most often means bad setting and surroundings for those who aren’t familiar with the technique yet. Many people just changes the angle or the settings to avoid it. Although, these people are often very new and unskilled and their photos does not always get the magic they are after. At this times the backlight can actually help you. Considering you have the right hardware of course.

Backlight creates magic in the photos, it gives the living touch and the true feeling of what you are photographing. It creates a different dimension and makes it more unique. It can mainly be done in two ways, to create this feeling. The main difference is more or less the hardware, that either has or hasn’t a filter.

Of you want to take a nice backlight photo without the glare and reflections, it’s best to not use the filter that you may have added behind your objective. This filter normally protects your front lens and it can be very useful to have. In situations like this, though, it’s better to remove it. The glares and reflections in the photo often comes from this filter, that makes the light bounce in unwanted directions. This is what causes glares and if you want a simple photo, it’s bye bye with the filter for a while.

Although, this glares and reflections can also make a nice twist to a photo. Use the glares and create beautiful and interesting effects in the photo. Play around with it a bit and find the vision you want. Combine this with a playful motive and you suddenly have a whole different kind of picture. Here, the filter may help you to get the glares.

This glares or glare-free photos also has a lot to do with your aperture. A smaller aperture gives you more glares and a more direct, harsh light. The source of the light becomes very distinct. With a bigger aperture the light becomes softer, more of a bright spot than a harsh point. The shorter creates more effects, and the bigger creates a more lighter background.

It’s also good to know about the two main versions of a backlight photograph – silhouette or coverage. The two is kind of self-explanatory, but it never hurts with a quick explanation.

The silhouette with backlight is basically when you expose the picture after the sun/light source and the motive becomes a darker silhouette. The light source therefor takes over since you decide just how bright it should be. The other version, with the coverage, is just about the opposite. This time, you expose the picture after your motive and the bright part will take over from the background. It ends up with a motive in your preferred lightings, and a very bright background. Both can be fantastic sets of footages and you might as well take the same picture with different exposure, to make the results completely different from each other.

No matter what method and what photo you are after – backlight can be extremely fun to play with. It takes skill, practice, decent hardware and a whole lot of imagination!