My favorite highlights

Note about backlit games.

My favorite highlights

My favorite highlights. The girl is shot against the setting sun. The face is lined with a remote flash located on the right.

I really love play with shooting backlit. For me this is one of the most interesting and exciting things to do. You never know what will happen in the end. And if you still manage to catch your luck by the tail, then the result can easily get out of the ordinary frames with the 'correct' light.

Shooting against the main light is tricky and may not work at first. There is a fine line between the usual spurious illumination of the frame and the subtle play of artifacts from back / side light in the frame.

In the backlight, the lens carries a very high load on the frame, in particular its ability to produce parasitic artifacts that are formed due to light reflections between the lens lenses. These are usually bunnies, highlights, veil, rainbow circles and other 'UFOs'.

Using backlight is very easy to create / convey the atmosphere of the picture, and additional light artifacts give the frame its subtle mood.

Below the pictures there are small descriptions.

Backlit portrait

Backlit portrait. Easy defocusing and warm sun veil

Backlit portrait

Backlit portrait. Glare is a good indication of the direction of light. Warm evening shot. If you remove the backlight and glare from it, then it will turn into another routine portrait 'on a bench'

Unusual flare

Unusual Q-shaped color highlight. Autumn theme goes well with backlight

Nature in the backlight

Backlit nature. Large sunny 'halo' creates atmosphere in any 'simple' picture

Strong yellow flare

Strong yellow 'flaky' flare takes you into the summer mood

Backlit portrait

Backlit portrait. Back and front illuminated by flashes. It is not always easy to find the right power in order not to 'burn' the picture

Backlit portrait

Backlit portrait. Two flashes. Bright light sources easily add more positive emotions

More complicated

Already more difficult. Falling snow in the light of two street lamps. The blue and yellow tint was due to the different color temperature of the lamps (incandescent and halogen lamps)

Game with a flare in the form of a nimbus semicircle

A game with a flare in the form of a nimbus semicircle A portrait in this style can be seen with me here.

With backlighting, it is important not to overdo it, otherwise many glare can overload the frame

With backlighting, it is important not to overdo it, otherwise many glare can overload the frame

The easiest option

The simplest version of a kontrazhura. Minimal composition with a rich sunset atmosphere. Usually, those who try to work with the backlight play begin with such pictures.

Simple game with backlight

A simple game with backlight. Lantern lit in the afternoon

Backlight portrait

Portrait in strong lateral, partially backlight. The game is light and dark. Light as the rays of the divine

Share your experience in the comments.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 23, on the topic: My favorite glare

  • Tatyana

    there were more examples in the group on facebook :) thanks!

  • Alexander Malyaev

    Arkady, isn’t it easier now to make such artifacts later when post-processing the image? It is much more predictable, manageable. Of course, no one canceled the shooting technique itself in the back, but it’s easy to add glare, veils, etc. in Photoshop.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Of course it's easier, but it's not for nothing that I wrote “I really like to play with shooting in backlight” and highlighted in bold “play with shooting"

    • Paul

      Alexander, sorry, you feel the difference between the broth from the village chicken and the broth from the cube?
      So with highlights. You can add anything in post-processing, but it will not be natural.

      • Alexander Malyaev

        Naturally it will be, you won't even feel the difference. Modern software works such miracles that soon you will not be able to distinguish reality from graphics. I don't know about broth. But I know that a modern high-quality lens will not give such flare, but it will give you the opportunity to do whatever you want in post-processing. Buying old lenses for the sake of glare is the lot of enthusiasts, like Arkady, nevertheless, lenses with normal sharpness and a minimum of artifacts are more often appreciated and bought.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          I’m not saying that you need to buy something. Here, specifically for me, “how” is important, not “what” :)

        • anonym

          Do you feel the difference? Oh well! That's just watching these photos divorced with highlights from Photoshop, you can see per kilometer, it hurts your eyes :)

    • SKY HD

      with such introductory information, you can photoshop everything .. the photographer's weapon is lightroom.

      • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

        Do not believe me, I don’t remember when I opened Lightroom, it was replaced by DxO from me

  • Alexey

    Arkady, a portrait on a bench, shot on a Sigma 50 1.4 DG HSM, was the model illuminated by flash?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Sigma, but not highlighted. Exposed on a bench, but the sun miraculously did not work

      • Onotole

        That photo shoot with a bench turned out to be gorgeous, very juicy photos.

  • Pokemon

    One fall, too, was played with highlights.
    Even an old man passing by asked me that I was spinning around a tree :-)
    You should be careful with the counter - I somehow caught such a bright beam in my eye, which Helios transmitted to me through the viewfinder, that I could not blink for 5 minutes.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      “Old men” tell me that you can't shoot against the sun at all, because “nothing will work out”

  • Andrey Sazonov

    Good afternoon!
    When shooting on the Air Show last year, I got something similar

  • anonym

    I liked the game with the light!

  • Nikolai (sn797)

    Thank you for the article! Very beautiful glare, I liked everything :) I'll try to add a few of my own glare, which I found in my archive, inspired by what I read and the comments :) Photos were taken by Yashika, who is a little younger than me, but looks much better! It wasn't easy to get into sharpness at f / 1,4, so sorry. I, too, played with the "new-old" acquisition, with lights and bokeh. Country chicken broth is delicious, I support :)


  • Novel

    Ever thought that such a game could affect your eyesight?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I didn’t think, as practice has shown - if you do everything without fanaticism, you don’t even notice that it can be dangerous.

      • Air force

        An astronomer can look at the sun through a telescope twice. Left eye and right eye

  • anonym

    I am sure that few people can appreciate such images and the difficulties of obtaining them. But filmmakers and mid-formatters can’t afford such experiments at all.

  • Veronica

    It's fine. Such photos are unusual.

  • Sasha

    And one day, while walking, I came across a reflector - a large billboard with no advertising, just a silvery thing. Well, behind is the sun.

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