Monday, February 28, 2011

How I Got The Shot #11 - Back Lighting for Dramatic Effect

This is a picture from a vacation I took with the family.  We like to travel when it gets cold here in Ohio, so we went off in January to San Diego, California.  There are a lot of great pictures from that trip and a lot of photo techniques to share.  However, for this post, we are going to take a look at back lighting and how that kind of light can make for a dramatic image.

Check out the details after the break...
Creative Process:
Sometimes you have just got to go with what you got.  In this case, we were in San Diego in one of their "bad winter years".  Lots of rain, pretty cold for them(50-60 degree F versus the 10-20 in Ohio at the same time).  This happened to be the last night we were in San Diego, so we headed over to Coronado Island to check out the Hotel del Coronado.  The Pacific was throwing some pretty might fits at the time and the tides coming in were large and threatening to flood some streets.  As you can see from the image, they built some sand dunes up to help stem back the waves.
We got over to Coronado right as the sun was setting, and the light was coming just over the horizon. If no other lighting is used, you will get silhouettes of you main subjects.  In this case, the light was so intense at the time that it happened to rim out my wife and daughter.
How did I know the light would do this?   When you shoot enough images and keep mental notes in your head of lighting conditions and how the camera records it - you just know.  In this case, experience gave me the hint I needed.

Location:
Coronado Island, Sand Diego, CA - Just south of Hotel del Coronado

Gear:
Nikon D50
Tamron 28-200mm  f/3.8-5.6

EXIF Info:
Shot in Aperture Priority at 1/1000th  - f/7.1 - ISO 200 @ 112 mm - matrix metering
Shot in RAW - converted to JPG in Camera RAW

Lighting Setup:
The setting sun and nothing but the setting sun.  It was coming straight at me and my subjects were in between the light an me.



Post Processing:
Not a ton really.  Just some basic exposure adjustments via Camera RAW.

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