a light study

50mm | f1.8 | 1/250 | iso100

It is the last week of school in our neighborhood (YAY!!!!!!!!!!!) and this beautiful friend of mine is graduating from high school. I felt lucky to be able to create these images with her. I have known her since her preschool days I think! I love seeing the amazing person she is and how she has found so many things she is passionate about. She has a beautiful future ahead of her.

I photographed her at Tunnel Springs because I love it there and it is really close to where we both live. These were shot in the evening. (See the warm glow of the sunset behind her!?) The sun is setting behind her left shoulder. These are backlit with the tree as a sort of buffer so that the back light doesn’t overtake the background. She stays in the same general spot in all of the images I will share with you. I am using the 50mm 1.2L prime lens. It is without zoom capabilities. When you see the photo brought in…it is from me moving physically closer…and also to her right side to change the way the light effects the image.

50mm | f1.8 | 1/250 | iso100

I have moved directly in front of her and closer in this image. Shooting at f1.8 will create a soft back drop. The softening will increase as you move closer. Remember the sun is over her left shoulder (right of the photograph).

50mm | f1.2 | 1/640 | iso100
50mm | f1.2 | 1/640 | iso100

The subject is backlit here but I am slightly above her so that the light is not hitting the lens…there is no flare. I try to remember to bring a step stool to every photo session. The sun is still behind that left shoulder but I have moved and Gabby has turned her head to face me.

50mm | f1.2 | 1/400 | iso100

I have positioned myself, still above but facing the light more straight on. Notice how the warmth increases with these small adjustments.

50mm | f1.2 | 1/400 |iso100

I positioned myself at that spot (more straight on as said above…) and a bit lower to add more light around the subject. If you like a stronger backlight fill- position yourself so that you are facing the light. Your subject will be between you (your camera) and the sun. Move your camera up|down and side to side to make little adjustments that will add more or less light in the image.

lower…and more light…and more warmth

50mm | f1.2 | 1/400 | iso100
35mm | f1.8 | 1/200 | iso100

In this image I have moved back to where I started, directly facing Gabby…moved back and did trade lenses to the 35mm 1.4L . I think it is fascinating how the light, it’s color and intensity, changes just by small adjustments.

Do you like shooting with backlight? Do you ever “buffer” it’s intensity with something- like this tree?

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