Lighting is key. It has an influence on just about everything we do when making an image. Light will affect what time of day we shoot, where we place our subject, our shutter speed, our aperture, how we edit the images, blah blah blah. You get the idea, right? Understanding and controlling light is crucial to the success of your work. Without understanding it, you are doing nothing more than guessing and hoping for the best. This means you aren’t able to create certain looks on the spot and you aren’t able to replicate looks that you’ve shot and loved in the past. Experts aren’t experts because they guess, they are experts because they understand the ins and outs of what they do. Just for the record, I’m not writing this because I consider myself an expert but education happens when we share ideas, so here I am sharing my ideas in the hopes that it some of you will benefit from it and will be able to pass that on to someone else.
If you follow my work at all, it should be pretty clear by now that I am a huge fan of back light. In fact, sometimes if the light just right, this happens on set. I’m not here to say that any particular lighting scenario is better than another as they each are great for certain looks, but back lighting has always been a favorite of mine. In the beginning I found myself drawn to it for the imperfections and the happy accidents caused by the sun hitting the lens and over time I have grown to appreciate it for its ability to be specifically manipulated. I used to think that back lighting was all about sun flares but there is so much more to it. Depending on the lenses used, the time of day, and the personality of the subject, back lighting can give you anything from a flare-filled dynamic lifestyle shot to a hazy and peaceful editorial portrait.