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Thread started 07 Feb 2018 (Wednesday) 12:30
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Dealing with subject in shadow resulting from backlighting

 
kat.hayes
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Feb 07, 2018 12:30 |  #1

Shooting with a 5DM3 and a 100-400 around golden hour, I used a light meter to get my settings 2.8, 1/250, 100. My subject ended up appearing in bit of shadow as a result of the backlighting. I was standing somewhere around 12-15 feet (not sure how accurate that is) back to create a soft blurred background effect.

1. I'm assuming that this is too far back to attach a speedlite to result in any lighting on the subject?
2. I'm not experienced with speedlites, if one can be used, what settings should I look into using for this situation?
3. Is this a scenario for using a reflector?

Thanks for any info.




  
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Wilt
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Feb 07, 2018 12:44 |  #2

Back to Guide Numbers being salvation to understanding once again. Using Canon 430EX flash as a specific not-highly-powerful example...

1. This flash has GN112 (assuming ISO 100 and variable flashhead coverage set to 'normal' lens)
GN112 / 15' = f/7.5 (think f/8, good 'nuff)
NOT 'too far back' at all. Set the flash to eTTL and shoot away.

2. This subject can get complex in a hurry, as it can involve how to get your

a. subject not quite as bright as the background capture (to look a bit 'less flashed'
b. subject equally as bright as the background capture
c. subject brighter than background capture (to focus viewer's attention on subject)

...which I think is far too complex at your current level of understanding
but if you insist, we can go there!

3. A reflector as 'solution'..."It DEPENDS" upon the situation. It could help for some situations, and be ZERO help in other situations.


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davesrose
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Feb 07, 2018 12:49 |  #3

Backlighting is the chief time not to use evaluative metering, but partial or spot metering. Can you post your picture, so we can see if the background would have been blown had you exposed for your subject? Using a speedlite is a way of retaining your exposure for the background while adding light to your foreground. There are also accessories for getting your flash off your camera's hotshoe. That way you can customize what position and closeness to the subject you want. Since the flash wouldn't need to overpower ambient light, it would have plenty of power on your hotshoe as well (at 15', direct aim). If using a reflector, usually it needs to be near your subject (so is often used for portraits).


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gonzogolf
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Feb 07, 2018 12:59 |  #4

This can be beautiful light if dealt with properly. For now just use your Speedlite in ettl mode. If you are serious about this it's time to look at getting the flash off the camera using triggers. I like the yn 622c but there are lots of options.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 07, 2018 13:01 |  #5

Hey, Kat!

Could you post an example of the photo that you are discussing? For us to try to offer the most valid, pertinent advice, we need to see exactly what the scenario was that you were shooting in.

kat.hayes wrote in post #18558604 (external link)
Shooting with a 5DM3 and a 100-400 around golden hour, I used a light meter to get my settings 2.8, 1/250, 100. My subject ended up appearing in bit of shadow as a result of the backlighting. I was standing somewhere around 12-15 feet (not sure how accurate that is) back to create a soft blurred background effect.

1. I'm assuming that this is too far back to attach a speedlite to result in any lighting on the subject?
2. I'm not experienced with speedlites, if one can be used, what settings should I look into using for this situation?
3. Is this a scenario for using a reflector?

Thanks for any info.

Golden hour. . Backlit. . Nice!

I view these conditions as being very special conditions to shoot in.
. They allow you the opportunity to get creative and make images that you are not usually able to make.

I think that when you have such special conditions, you should embrace them, instead of trying to undo them with a flash.

If a subject has golden hour sunlight behind it, then use that special opportunity to create a "mood image" and try to capture the rimlight around your subject, if possible. . Think of capturing forms and shapes, and of positive and negative space, instead of trying to just take the same old same old kind of image that you would normally take in other conditions.

When going for backlit golden hour images, it is generally considered a good thing if your subject is in shadow. . This is typically what one would try to accomplish when shooting against the light in these conditions.

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DaviSto
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Feb 07, 2018 13:45 |  #6

You say you used a light meter to get your settings. If you took an incident light meter reading correctly ... your camera settings should have led to your subject being correctly exposed, although your background might have been blown out a little.

Using fill flash might well have given a more pleasing overall result but I don't understand how you ended up with the subject in shadow using the approach that you adopted.


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Dealing with subject in shadow resulting from backlighting
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