KLGAviation
Topic Author
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 11:00 am

Question Regarding Backlighting

Thu May 04, 2006 8:39 am

Guys,

I'm confused by exactly what effects backlighting can have a photo and how one might go about correcting these problems.

In the comment of this photo by Thomas Millard he asks to forgive the backlighting... to me the photo is still awesome (love the angle). I'm just wondering how to get acceptable results on my Rebel when there is significant backlighting.


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Thomas Millard



Again, I love the photo, well done Thomas!

Chris
There is a fine line between a picture and a photo. The latter seems to be disappearing.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Question Regarding Backlighting

Thu May 04, 2006 8:49 am

Best way to avoid backlighting? Know where the sun is and where it is going to be, and position yourself accordingly. It screws up your exposure, because the other side of the object is the one lit up, and you are essentially shooting the shadow side of the object. It can, however, create some nice effects, but you have to know what you are doing.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
eadster
Posts: 2125
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:31 pm

RE: Question Regarding Backlighting

Thu May 04, 2006 11:44 am

Short version. When shooting have your back to the sun. You want to be the opposite side of the shadows.
 
glennstewart
Posts: 952
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2003 9:11 am

RE: Question Regarding Backlighting

Thu May 04, 2006 12:19 pm

I'd would say most airport of the world have places where you can go to always have the sun behind your back. But backlit shots can work at times. It can reduce your chances of having a shot accepted simply because poorly lit subjects can often turn out to be poorly shot subjects.

Thomas's shot was marginal and I'm afraid it may have just scraped in by the tiniest of margins.

Glenn
Respected users.... If my replies are useful, then by all means...
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Question Regarding Backlighting

Thu May 04, 2006 12:35 pm

Quoting Glennstewart (Reply 3):
Thomas's shot was marginal and I'm afraid it may have just scraped in by the tiniest of margins.

You're afraid? What do you mean? I'm glad we have a shot of the recent incident here on a.net.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
Psych
Posts: 2944
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am

RE: Question Regarding Backlighting

Thu May 04, 2006 3:33 pm

Chris.

Generally I would agree that you will always be on the back foot when submitting backlit photos here. One of the key reasons for this is that, because you will have large areas of your subject 'in shadow' - even if the sun is not shining remember - your editing will require you to enhance the brightness/levels in those areas. Particularly when darker in the the first place, this tends to have the effect of introducing noticeable grain into those areas, which starts to have a negative impact on the overall quality of the image.

But if forced into that situation - as I was in this example below - it becomes increasingly important to get your exposure for the main subject correct at the time you take the photograph. Don't rely on sorting things out after the event with editing.

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Markman


I think this shot would have been even more difficult had the light been even brighter - another problem of backlighting is excessive contrast. This is an example of a favoured photography spot at Manchester which is ideal for the morning and early afternoon, but becomes increasingly problematic later in the day (as here) because the sun is now not lighting the side of the aircraft I am photographing. To orient you, my camera is pointing roughly north here - so this shot would have probably been a non-starter had I been pointing in a more westerly direction.

All the best.

Paul
 
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walter2222
Posts: 1237
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 3:40 am

RE: Question Regarding Backlighting

Fri May 05, 2006 1:39 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 1):
It screws up your exposure, because the other side of the object is the one lit up, and you are essentially shooting the shadow side of the object. It can, however, create some nice effects, but you have to know what you are doing.

 checkmark 

I don't have a lot of photo's in at this moment, but my top hitter (#1) is one that is back-lit and with a lot of heat-haze... but I knew when I was pressing the shutter, that this was going to be a great shot (at least for myself  Smile ), and I was very happy that it was accepted here as well (after some - minimal - processing).

Best regards,

Walter
Canon 347d mkII ;-) - EFS10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - EFS18-55mm - EF28-105mm f3.5/4.5 - EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6l IS USM - ...

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