Monday, October 6, 2008

Experimenting with Backlighting [or Why a Photographer of Girls Should Always Carry a Brush and Hair Accessories!]

Lets just start out by saying that taking pictures in full sun has ALWAYS scared me to death. Harsh shadows and bright spots--need I say more. I have tried flash to even those areas out, but I haven't mastered that and I still tend to get unpleasant photos most of the time. My motto has been, "Open shade is my best friend." For the last 4 1/2 years, I have lived and breathed this motto (at least for portraits.) However, recently I have seen some fantastic pictures taken in full sun with the sun behind the subject (backlighting). Sometimes, the photographer even got some "artistic" sun flare, too. (Side note--unartistic is not pretty--artistic is!!) I had wanted to try, but my fears had always taken over. "Shade, shade, shade," would ring out loudly in my ear.

Well, enter my last family photo shoot. I knew because of the time of day and weather that we would be photographing in full sun. I was scared, actually, lets say terrified. So, I loaded up my kids (and a VERY indulging husband) and set off to find the light and photograph in full sun. Before peeking at these pictures, please note that I have MUCH to learn in this area. I had many outtakes that you'll not see (it's my blog and I you are under my power--ha ha.) But for a first attempt, there were a few keepers. After seeing the pictures--I think the title will make sense.






These aren't perfect, but have shown me that a photographer CAN successfully photograph in full sun and have pictures turn out. I won't be so scared next time and will try more. I'd accept any comments or suggestions, especially if you have more experience than me in this area (and I would be thrilled if you'd comment even if you don't!)

7 comments:

govehar said...

I am a huge fan of your work - especially the subjects. Your camera doesn't do them justice. The photographer is amazing also.

Mom and Camera said...

Thanks for the kind words, honey!! I agree about the subjects.

Brian Cragun said...

Super photos. Lovely composition. Excellent lighting.

Stephanie said...

My favorite is the last one of your #1 daughter (remaining nameless for the blog's sake). Don't be scared.

Laurel C. said...

Uh, Gayle? What were you so worried about? These pictures are beautiful. I love full sunlight— it makes everyone look fully lit, awake, and illuminated. The colors are more bold. And no one is squinting into the sun... that's my pet peeve.

I like the last picture with Alison... the washed out effect is really pretty with her fair coloring and pastel clothing.

TheWolfPack said...

I love your work! You are on my favorites list and I check out your blog almost daily! I am also just a mom, with a camera, and a passion for photography. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Mom and Camera said...

Thanks for the nice words. I will check out your blog, too. It is nice having a new commenter!!