Using backlighting outdoors — Photography Podcast #45

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #45 talks about how to use back­light­ing out­doors. We talk about tak­ing that clas­sic photo on the beach in front of a sun­set and doing it prop­erly. We also describe how to take a nice por­trait using back­light­ing and the whole pod­cast and is based some­what on an email from Cindy;

This sum­mer my fam­ily is going to the beach. Of course, I want to take lots of pic­tures. What is the best time of day? I love sun­set pic­tures, but how do I take pic­tures of the peo­ple with their backs to the ocean (sun in back­ground etc.) and see their faces clearly? ”

The images below (done really quickly with almost no post pro­cess­ing) clearly show the dif­fer­ences you can obtain using back­light­ing and flash at dif­fer­ent set­tings. Per­son­ally I like the Minus 2 shot the best. You best see the dif­fer­ences in flash out­put by look­ing at the face.

using backlighting and flash outdoors

Pho­tog­ra­phy links men­tioned in this pod­cast:
Acces­sories that you can use to hold reflec­tors etc. — pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast 35
Pho­tog­ra­phy and the law

Thanks as always to Cindy, Jason and Alex Wil­son for recent com­ments and sug­ges­tions. We LOVE com­ments and sug­ges­tions so please send more.

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player below.

Party at the Old Port

Here’s a shot of a huge ship at the old port in old Mon­treal at night. It was of course the lights and their reflec­tions on the water that made this shot inter­est­ing for me. I nor­mally don’t shoot hand­held at slower than 1/30th of a sec­ond and this shot was taken at 1/15.‚ Exif data F2.8, ‚1/15 at ISO 1600. You can click the image to make it tastier on the eyes.

photograph of the old port - Montreal

One light portraits — Photography podcast #38

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #38 talks about cre­at­ing dra­matic por­traits using only 1 light. Using 1 light cre­ates very harsh shad­ows which is PERFECT for a dra­matic por­trait. The fol­low­ing 2 shots illus­trate this dra­matic effect. In the first shot Lorne and Boog are being lit by 1 light located 45 degrees toward the right. The sec­ond shot is side­light. Both these shots use no reflec­tor to bounce light back into the sub­jects’ faces. Note that the light in the sec­ond pho­to­graph reveals a lot of skin tex­ture, so this type of light­ing would not be good for a ‘fash­iony’ shot in most cases. Thanks to Lorne and Boog for being the mod­els. I Love how lit­tle Boog is star­ing me down in the first shot. You can click all the shots to make them tastier on the eyes.

One light portrait

1 light portrait - side lighting

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player below this image.

Photo of the week
This week, the pho­to­graph is by Zseike and I com­ment in the pod­cast on why I think this pho­to­graph is fantastic.

Photo by Zseike

Thanks as always for the com­ments by‚Gary H, ‚Andre, Tom, Yves Janse, David and Mikael. We LOVE com­ments and sug­ges­tions so please send more.

Grab the light now — light waits for no one

Another res­o­lu­tion I am mak­ing this year (start­ing today) is not to tarry when I see great light. Great light doesn’t wait for you, great light doesn’t give a crap about your sched­ule — You wait for great light and when you see it you must grab it by its invis­i­ble balls.

Yes­ter­day was an amaz­ing exam­ple. I woke up and thick fog was every­where — Everywhere!


For me, fog is great light. It evokes a rare spe­cial mood and feel­ing.
.…but I’m a busy dude and work beck­ons me con­stantly so I checked the win­dow peri­od­i­cally while I waited until I was ready to shoot. Guess what — once I was ready the fog had almost dis­si­pated. Boy was I upset : (

So as a last resort I got into my car and chased the fog until I found the best patch I could find. It was okay fog and I think this self-portrait is not bad.

Point is — Now I have think about what could have been instead of know­ing that I was shoot­ing at the best pos­si­ble time.….

self portrait fog