Shooting Strong Backlit Photographs: You Keep Shooting with Bryan Peterson


Boy am I lucky. I get to be down here in
Key West, Florida and for a Chicago guy that’s like Christmas all over again
because it’s so much warmer here than Chicago. Hi I’m Bryan Petersen and you are watching
AdoramaTV. AdoramaTV presents keep shooting with Bryan Peterson. Hi I’m Bryan Petersen and I am the author of understanding exposure and Bryan
Peterson’s field guide to understanding photography. I’m here with a student of mine Philip, and we’re against this wonderfully strong back light of the Sun going down behind
us. Now we’re awfully bright but as we turn that video camera down to the much
darker exposure that allows for the sunset sky to show through, you can
clearly see what we’re up against here. We love it. Now keep in mind,
I’m going to be exposing for that sunset and without benefit of flash guess what’s
going to happen here. Take a look. There’s that photograph with no flash. Not
surprising my exposure for the background f/11 at a 250th without
flash and I get a silhouette of Phillip. Now here’s the key to shoot a strong back
lit photograph like this with a flash when we want to light up the subject in front of that strong backlight. Number one and boy I can’t stress this enough. You need to shoot in manual exposure on that camera of yours. That’s absolutely critical. As far as the flash is concerned you know I’m a big
manual flash guy but I don’t care if you want to use your shot with the flash in
TTL, it’s up to you. In fact we’re going to do this one and this time and TTL I’m also
using Nikon’s commander mode which is unique to Nikon. I have a little flash here
that’s gonna talk to the big flash here. Flash is being held off camera because I don’t want the deer here in the headlights look. So f/11 at a 250th. Let’s look at that
photograph one more time. Silhouette Phillip, f/11 250th with
flash in TTL mode. Take a look at this one. Smile. Take a
look at that. The key here is you want a flash it. So camera must be in manual. Set the exposure for the background, f/11 in this case at a 250th and 400 ISO. TTL on your flash, again that’s perfectly fine got no problem with that and fire away. That’s how it’s done, pretty simple. Hey until next time this is Bryan
Peterson from Key West reminding all of you, you keep shooting!

56 Replies to “Shooting Strong Backlit Photographs: You Keep Shooting with Bryan Peterson”

  1. This works great when your subject is only a few feet away from the camera. But how do I get good exposure for
    something like a flying aircraft with a white sky without blowing out the sky or getting a silhouette of the
    aircraft ?

  2. Okay, but how to focus on his face when its technically completely dark? Read the sky exposure, memorize it, expo for his face, focus, set everything back to the sky settings?

  3. Thanks for all your tips that have helped me tremendously.

    My question is about using the flash in TTL mode in this photo while having the flash act as a slave. How is the TTL information being sent to the flash?

    Thanks in advance!

  4. Can anyone help me with something?
    I'm getting a new camera and idk if I should get D7100 or D7200
    I want extra money for lenses but if I spend extra and get the D7200 will my pictures come out better?

  5. Superb tutorial Brian, would you be able to do a similar tutorial but as you say in manual and not TTL?

  6. Let's say you're working somewhere where flash is not allowed. How would you proceed then to get these same results?

  7. Bryan, I know you love the FLW filter. What color gel do you put on the flash when using this technique with the FLW filter on the lens in order to get normal skin tones?

  8. Will most of the Nikon flashes be triggered by the on camera flash or do you need a flash commander unit?

  9. Thanks for another excellent tip. I have a question though. The main light source is behind your subject i.e the sun. Doesn't it look a bit unnatural that there's another light source on the right side of The subject?

  10. I've probably watched or read 15 items on line about this exact situation. The only difference is that Bryan cuts through the BS and makes it simple. THANK-YOU! Well done. (I like your books, too.)

  11. Yes, but you need to focus on your subject after taking the reading or else your subject will be out of focus.

  12. I like the ranking vs use cases. Similar to what DxO is doing without the chart; nice addition along with extra use cases. One question: what makes you rank the D810 significantly lower than the D700 in low light?

  13. My teacher tho he doesn't know he is. Mr Peterson. Thanks man. 7 years now in photography, and still applying understanding exposure.

  14. Great Tips, thanks Bryan. I know the flash was in TTL, but I'm wondering if I were to do this manually with a light meter, what would the ratio of flash be to background? Is it 1:1, 2:1 or am I way off in working this? Thanks

  15. Simple and to the point , I would never have tried that now I certainly will give it a go . Might not be as good as yours just yet :))
    Thanks

  16. This was a simple, straight to the point explanation i needed. I’m shooting with a sunset tonight and i wanted to make sure I do everything correctly

  17. Looked like you had a cto gell on your flash as well, to make the flash light more closely match the late evening sunlight, is that true?

  18. everytime i try my flash, the object in front is way too bright, day, evening, night, it allways makes it too bright, even 1/64 on flash just burns out everything

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