View Full Version : Help with Backlighting exposures
27th of January 2010 (Wed), 18:42
hey everyone. I am working on my new T1i and am really wanting to get good at shooting backlit shadow shots such as trees with the afternoon sun rays coming through the canopy. I am not sure which is the best way to obtain this. Obviously my feable attempts have been poor. What you end up with is the common under/over exposed situation where the tree shadows are pitch black and the sunlight is exposed for or the sun is over exposed/blown out.
Assuming you do not have a external flash, which I do not, what is best way to work this type of situation? How does one meter and then lock exposure? i am thinking that if i meter off another portion of the shot, lock exposure then recompose it might work?
All hints and tips are appreciated!! Thanks you guys
27th of January 2010 (Wed), 19:18
Cameras have a limited amount of dynamic range. You could try metering a portion of the sky without the sun in the viewfinder and locking in that exposure. Or take multiple shots (bracket) with varying levels of +-EC to account for the shadows and highlights and blend them in photoshop.
28th of January 2010 (Thu), 08:33
Given the huge dynamic range in question here, you will always have the situation you have mentioned unless you can modify the light.
By modify, I mean adding more light to the subject (flash, reflector etc).
The other option as Ronnie has said is multiple exposures (minimum of 2 - one for the foreground object and another for the sky) and blend them in post processing.
28th of January 2010 (Thu), 18:26
On another note, I would recommend shooting in manual rather than locking exposures. If you're shooting a silhouette, you're generally just going to meter off the sky (to the left or right of the sun of course) and then compose your shot. The scene generally isn't going anywhere, so there's really no need to use an automatic or semi-automatic mode. But as the others have said, if you're not looking for a silhouette shot, you're either going to need to use a GND filter, use flash or a reflector, blend multiple exposures or invest in the software and learn HDR techniques.
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