FOCUS ON THE BACKGROUND

 

You know that whole thing about killer light being important? It goes for backgrounds too. Great light on your subject can be ruined by terrible light behind it. It took me a while to remember this one. I would see my images in post and slap myself in the brain every time I saw a potentially rad image ruined by terrible background light. It's something that always seemed to slip my mind while I was on set but once I began to focus on it more, I saw my keeper rate going up fast. Since I tend to shoot in soft light or back light, what always tended to ruin it for me was harsh light on the landscape behind the subject. It was this gorgeous luminous soft light enveloping my couple or model, and then this bright, patchy, overwhelming light with the power of a million suns in the background. Don't forget the rest of the frame when you shoot, it's all important!

  5D III + 35L This soft flattering light that fell on Cory and Bethany would have been pretty close to worthless for me if it wasn't falling everywhere else. That doesn't mean that every frame with harsh light in the background is worthless, but I've never been a fan of it for my own style. In this shot I killed the harsh light by hiding it behind the massive boulder behind them.

 

5D III + 35L

This soft flattering light that fell on Cory and Bethany would have been pretty close to worthless for me if it wasn't falling everywhere else. That doesn't mean that every frame with harsh light in the background is worthless, but I've never been a fan of it for my own style. In this shot I killed the harsh light by hiding it behind the massive boulder behind them.

  5D III + 35L Cutting down on the harsh light in the background sometimes means waiting for the sun to drop lower before you take the shots that show a lot of it. I typically shoot images like this (where it shows a ton of distance) towards the end of a shoot so I don't have to worry about the hard light hitting anywhere off in the distance that I can't control. Once the sun drops to a certain point, the background goes from harsh to soft and it opens up way more opportunities for shooting.

 

5D III + 35L

Cutting down on the harsh light in the background sometimes means waiting for the sun to drop lower before you take the shots that show a lot of it. I typically shoot images like this (where it shows a ton of distance) towards the end of a shoot so I don't have to worry about the hard light hitting anywhere off in the distance that I can't control. Once the sun drops to a certain point, the background goes from harsh to soft and it opens up way more opportunities for shooting.