CAVE LIGHT

 

Since I typically shoot backlit, it means that my backgrounds are pretty bright since I expose to make sure that my subject’s skin (which is in shadow) is what has the correct exposure. It’s actually pretty rare that I have a background darker than my subject unless I’m shooting inside. even though I don’t seek out this type of light often, I love the look of it and wanted to make sure I included it in here so you have another trick in your bag! I call the type of light that I’m about to describe “Cave Light” because that visual is the best thing I’ve thought of to illustrate the point. Imagine that you place your subject right at the edge of a cave facing out of it. The light from the outside world is illuminating them while the light behind them is dark shadow. This tends to give the opposite look that back lighting can have. Back lighting will often give you a brighter background than subject while Cave Light will give you a bright subject with a darker background. That different in exposure helps your subject pop out of the background with a clean front light. Easy!

 
 

Contax 645 + 80mm + Kodak Portra 400

This frame of Sneha was shot in the modern day version of a cave, a garage. With indirect front light on her and the dark depth of the garage behind her, she pops out of the background and your eye goes right to her!

5D III + 35L Awnings are perfect for cave light. At this spot (which was SO freaking rad) there was an open porch with an awning that I placed Melissa towards the front of. With awnings or even tree cover, the strongest soft light will fall right at the front of it and it will become darker the further under it you get.

5D III + 35L

Awnings are perfect for cave light. At this spot (which was SO freaking rad) there was an open porch with an awning that I placed Melissa towards the front of. With awnings or even tree cover, the strongest soft light will fall right at the front of it and it will become darker the further under it you get.

5D III + 35L Cave light comes in all shapes and sizes. Anywhere you can find a spot where your subject will be brighter than the background will do. In this frame, I placed Danny right towards the tips of the branches and in front of the darker center of the tree. The light falling on him was cut down by the branches as it got closer to the trunk.

5D III + 35L

Cave light comes in all shapes and sizes. Anywhere you can find a spot where your subject will be brighter than the background will do. In this frame, I placed Danny right towards the tips of the branches and in front of the darker center of the tree. The light falling on him was cut down by the branches as it got closer to the trunk.