Photo Essay

Back Lighting.


One of my favourite kinds of lighting, is back lighting. I think the way it surrounds a subject is very interesting, and it provides a great challenge for how to light the subject from the front without sacrficing the back lighting effect.

Almost all of these photos are taken using entirely natural light. Most are shot in front of a window with natural light from other windows acting as the light to keep the model well lit. One of the shots was taken against a softbox, again with natural window light keeping the front lit. To achieve the effects in these photos, I use a fairly high ISO, usually around 1600 depending on the light outside, and a low f number, typically 3.2 or lower if possible.

The photos in this story are generally what people might class as more 'alternative'. Fabrics like latex and pvc work incredibly well with this style of lighting as it allows them to shine wonderfully. Tattoos on models also provide for interesting details within the image. I find the images tend to be quite elegant and soft to look at because of the nature of the lighting. Any blue tones in the images come from a 3200k in camera temperature.

As I continue shooting in this style I'll add more photos to the essay.

Other than for one shot, the camera and lens used in these images are a Canon EOS 50D with canon f1.8 50mm lens.

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4 responses

  • Kevin Griffin

    Kevin Griffin said (8 Jun 2009):

    very nice, i really like what uve done.

  • Gustavo Morejon

    Gustavo Morejon said (12 Jun 2009):

    Not an easy job, definitively ... but you have mastered it. How do you deal with the grain ? Somehow, every time I try to shoot with a high ISO, I have to fight against the grainy pictures. Your work is really a fine work.

  • Steff Wood

    Steff Wood said (14 Jun 2009):

    thanks Gustavo, I'm very lucky in that my camera deals with grain very well, its pretty minimal even at the highest ISO's so long as you compensate properly with shutter speed or light

  • Muhammad Qurban

    Muhammad Qurban gave props (31 Jan 2010):

    well done! nice words

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