If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that ‘you cannot shoot into the sun‘ I would probably be able to by myself a new camera.
I am of the opinion that there really is no bad light and that as a photographer you should be able to create images in pretty much any light. The type of light you shoot in will definitely affect the mood and look of your images but I personally just cannot get myself to put my camera down once the much coveted golden light has made way to harsh midday light and I have created some great high contract images when the sun was straight above my subjects.
The important thing is to understand what different types of light will do to your images and work with it. My approach to wildlife photography – you can only shoot what you see – comes to mind but if you know what different types of light will do you can, if possible to move around a bit, change the way you see your subject.
We can break the types of light you might find out in the field into three basic categories. They are:
- Front Light
- Side Light
- Back Light
Front light, when your subject is lit up from the front, is the easiest to work with and even though results can be very predictable with not too much shadows you will find that images can look quite flat. Generally there is not too much creative options when shooting a front lit subject.
Side light becomes more interesting and a opens up a lot more creative options. This type of light, when your subject is lit up form the side, will create a lot more definition and texture in your subject and will also add more depth into the frame. With side lighting you can create very dramatic images but just keep in mind that too much contrast can also swing an image to the other side.
Back light is one of my favourite types of light – yes you can shoot into the sun – and even though it can sometimes be tricky to nail the exposure the results are definitely worth the effort. Back light will give you the opportunity to shoot silhouettes and very moody, warm images that conveys the magic of those early morning and late afternoons in the bush.
In a future blog post we will dig into a lot more details of back lit images and how to exposure for different results but for now, yeah you guessed it, it’s time for #beinspiredby and this week our theme is Back Light.
#beinspiredby: Back Light
There you have it.
Here’s how it works if you want to share your images with us this week.
- Look through your images and select some of your favourite backlit images.
- Process or reprocess them like you normally would using your favourite post-processing software.
- Go to the Wild Eye Facebook page and post your image there using with this heading: #beinspiredby: Back Light
- In the description tell us where you took the image and what time of day it was.
- Check the Facebook page throughout the weekend to see some of the other images that people are uploading.
- Next Monday I will then choose 5 of my favourite images and share them on the blog.
Look for strong shapes, moody colours and rim lighting and at the same time be careful of lens flare and your exposure.
Whether a silhouette or beautiful shades of orange we look forward to seeing your back lit images!
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt
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