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Thread: Backlighting and Subject Colour

  1. #1
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    Backlighting and Subject Colour

    Hello all.
    I was hoping I could get some help. I have been photographing professionally about 2 years now and love natural lighing. However, I have been having some trouble with mainting color in my subjects when placing the sun behind them. I am wanting to capture the ambient glow of the eveing sun, while mainting the color in my subjects. I find when i try this, the subject ends up either being too dark or too washed out.

    Any helpful hints??

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    re: Backlighting and Subject Colour

    Katie,

    I would say either reflectors or HDR (but that would require your subject to stay still for 3 shots, which isn't impossible, but a tiny bit trickier).

    - Bill

  3. #3
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    re: Backlighting and Subject Colour

    Hi Katie, if the subjects are people or objects that are within 6-12 feet away you can often use fill-in flash to compensate.

  4. #4
    oldgeezer's Avatar
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    Pete Bird

    re: Backlighting and Subject Colour

    I would go with Frank as well. You can either set it manually or use TTL. I would use manual and do a few test shots. The 6-12 feet away can be extended quite a lot more than that even with an on camera flash.

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Backlighting and Subject Colour

    Hi Katie,

    Basically, they're dark because they're in shadow. Really only 2 practical ways to fix

    1. Use fill flash (preferably off-camera and into a shoot-through umbrella), or

    2. Use a reflector to bounce some light back into their faces (which has the added benefit of being matched colour temperature wise).

    I wrote a series on portraiture a while ago - you might find some useful hints and tips with regards to lighting there ...

    School of Portraiture - Links to Lessons 1 through 8

  6. #6

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    Re: Backlighting and Subject Colour

    Quote Originally Posted by KatieShroy View Post
    Hello all.
    I was hoping I could get some help. I have been photographing professionally about 2 years now and love natural lighing. However, I have been having some trouble with mainting color in my subjects when placing the sun behind them. I am wanting to capture the ambient glow of the eveing sun, while mainting the color in my subjects. I find when i try this, the subject ends up either being too dark or too washed out.

    Any helpful hints??

    Thanks!!
    You can get more helpful guidance, if you post your photograph here for guidance

  7. #7
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Backlighting and Subject Colour

    You don't actuall say how far away your subjects are from you or the light sorce, their relative size, etc, and a copy of an image would be good.

    Here is one I shot in Costa Rica shooting from the forest floor up to the sky. The subject is a very dark Howler Monkey. The shooting details were 1/200th sec @ f/5.6 with +3.33 EV compensation.

    The resultant image was quiet flat (milky) so after adding some additional fill light for the monkey in ACR and adding back some contrast via Curves I did have to add quiet a lot of saturation to restore the colour and then still had to Dodge around the face to get some view of our main man. I am not sure if that is the help you are looking for but it might help.

    Backlighting and Subject Colour

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