Back to Backlighting

November 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Let's get back to Backlighting.

© munish khanna photography

Shooting backlit subjects is not all that difficult but beginners in photography do find it a bit challenging technically. It adds more depth to the images while creating a separation from the background. It emphasizes shape of the subject. To get the right exposure one may use a flash, Portable power bank, Reflector or simply compensate the exposure for the subject with adding any external reflector or light source. A good understanding of exposure is important when you aim to shoot against the sun.  

In these backlit photographs of the model, I was quite fascinated by the natural light getting reflected back from the stone of the monument. While I am shooting from inside the monument, she is just outside with light naturally filling her face.


These photographs were shot for a Disco Jokey and the disco effect was created in our own photography studio. Discoes are full of lights and smoke. Simply included the studio lights right in the frame with coloured gels added on them

  DJ Unnati


This advertising campaign for Blankets was shot early morning. But the fog that you see is not really the actual fog but created out of smoke. backlighting is important for Smoke to show distinctly through the sunlight.

  Blanket HubBlanket Hub Blanket HubBlanket Hub

Blanket HubBlanket Hub

The transparency of the deep saturated green leaves would not have shown across had it not been shot against the light


While the sun is relatively high in the sky, the light does get reflected back naturally from the sky in the opposite direction as well as the urban surroundings around us. Even if reflectors are not used, exposure compensation may work quite well in bringing out good detail in the subject. However, at sunset or towards twilight not much light gets reflected back on the subject, making it more relevant to add an external light source to fill in the darker areas of the subject.

Notice the longer shadows created by the low setting warm sunlight in the Buen Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain. The light is just coming through an opening between the trees. detail and accurate exposure in the subject is not important in such shots as the whole scene by itself is the Subject and not just those people. 


If it's an interesting shape one may choose to let it be a silhouette.  Munish Khanna Photographyview it large


Backlighting is also ideal for revealing and highlighting texture besides shape. It is quite often used in lighting up nudes in a creative manner. nudesnudesnudes Munish Khanna Photography - twist of lifetwist of life


Munish Khanna is one of the best Advertising and Fashion Photographer who has specially created one of the best online photography courses with a vast experience of teaching photography at his photography academy in Delhi. He has been running his Photography course in Delhi since 1993. Munish also specializes in helping young (or any age ) aspiring models to build up a career in the world of modelling and Acting. Do check out more details about the Modelling portfolios which he offers in Delhi. 


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