Welcome back to the Pet Photography Project 52! This week’s topic is “Backlight”. The description is pretty self-explanatory, but the execution can be a bit trickier.
This is a technique where the main light source is behind the subject. It’s one of my favorites and my goto lighting for outdoor photography. In outdoor photography of course this light source will be the sun. It creates a beautiful glow around the subject.
A few things I try to keep in mind to make this work:
- I shoot during the “Golden Hour”. This is about an hour before sunset. The sun is lower in the sky and the light is softer.
- I try to frame my subjects against a dark background. Otherwise you lose the glow into the background. Using trees and bushes works well.
- Because your main light source is behind the subject, they will typically be a little underexposed. Although you can use artificial light sources like fill flash and reflectors to compensate for this, I prefer to simply bring up the exposure on my subjects in the editing process.
- I try not to point the camera directly toward the sun. While this can sometimes create nice effects like flares and light streaks, it can also completely wash out the image. Sometimes I will position myself so that the sun is blocked from my point of view, but still illuminating the subject. This prevents too much direct light from entering the lens.
My subjects this week are Noah and Charlie.
Noah is a 4 year old Beagle mix. He is owned by a friend of mine, Emily. Here’s what she told me about him:
He came from the Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation in Winston Salem, North Carolina (http://www.aarfanimals.org/). I got him in college to keep me company when I lived alone. He loves eating. It’s his passion. He also loves chasing squirrels and laying down on people’s laps. Very lazy but also very curious. Loves to play and is the most popular dog in the neighborhood. He’s a momma’s boy and sleeps with me in my bed. Cries outside my door when I am in there and he wants me. Sometimes he head butts the door too.
Next is Charlie. He is a 5 year old Schnauzer/Poodle mix, owned by Emily’s mom. Here is what Emily told me about him:
He was found abandoned on the street with a litter of puppies. He is obsessed with tennis balls. He can hear anything before any of the other dogs hear anything. He follows my mom around everywhere. He thinks he can fight with the big dogs and can never win in tug of war but tries anyway. He can jump really high! Like 3 ft!
Don’t forget to visit all the other awesome photographers who participated this week! Next up is Elaine Tweedy of I Got the Shot Photography, serving Northeastern PA and surrounding areas.