Yellow has become the predominant colour of the streets on our walk to school each morning, Mikey kicking his way through the golden leaves that have already blown down to the edges of the sidewalk. The leaves fly up around his legs and scatter, the gentle autumn sunlight catching each one in turn.
The light is different in the Autumn, softer, the sun is lower in the sky and our days are drawing shorter as we head steadily towards winter. We find ourselves having to change our shooting methods a little to make the most of the beautiful light we have this time of year.
Because the days are shorter now, I find that it’s a good time to take advantage of the earlier sunset to take some photos that use backlighting.
Backlighting is where you shoot your subject with the sun behind them. In photography, you can achieve various moods by using different types of lighting and when backlighting you can decide how sun-drenched you want your photos to be. Let that dictate your choice of location, sun position and direction of shooting. Wide fields are going to give you more bright golden sunlight behind your subjects, whereas trees and buildings will give you some nice open shade to utilize while still having the sun in the background.
The best kind of time for shooting backlit photos is either early in the morning as the sun rises or later in the evening as the sun sets, when the sun is lower in the sky. This changes with the seasons and your location so there’s not an exact time, but you can check when time the sun rises and sets in your area.
When metering for backlit photos, you should use spot metering and meter off of your subject for correct exposure. Your background may end up over exposed, but with this type of lighting that is not something to worry about. If you are able to, use a reflector to bounce a little light back onto your subject. You can eliminate sun flare by placing your subject in front of something that softens the strong light, or you can embrace the sun flare and use it to add a different element to your photos.
How you position yourself and the subject while taking the photo will change the way your photograph is lit. You don’t have to have the sun directly behind your subject, so don’t be worried about moving yourself around: You should have the sun exactly where you want it. Alternatively you can have the sun directly behind your subject for a more dramatic effect.
I’m teaming up with Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud to bring you the Nurture Photography Autumn Challenge – a photography challenge aimed at capturing the beauty of fall.
Just a few details:
All are welcome regardless of skill level, camera equipment or geographic location.
Share your favorite images inspired by our weekly prompts each Friday and grab our lovely button while you’re at it!
The linky will remain open from 9am Friday – 9am Thursday CST. Link to your Nurture Photography blog post or Flickr photo, not your blog’s home page or Flickr photostream. Don’t forget to visit and comment on the previous entry in the linky list.
We’ll be showcasing some of your lovely photos by pinning some of our favorites to the Nurture Photography Inspiration Board.
The Nurture Photography Challenge has taken to Facebook! Stop by, “like” our new Facebook fan page, ask questions and share your work on our wall as well.
We love Instagram just as much as you do! We’ll be on the lookout for your beautiful fall photos, so be sure to use the #nurturephoto hashtag to receive a little bit of Instagram love.
Next week’s prompt will be Orange/Warmth. For a complete list of prompts, head on over to the Nurture Photography page.