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Getting great shots shooting into the sun requires switching over to the manual settings on your camera.

Intermediate Photography Workshop Tips: The Backlit Portrait

Getting great shots shooting into the sun requires switching over to the manual settings on your camera. You will be intentionally overexposing the photo and ignoring the internal light meter. The result is a warm, glowing portrait with a soft retro feel. What I like to do to get this effect is:

1. Set my WB (white balance) to around 5200K, a temperature ideal for skin tones and a “warm” photo.

2. Use a large aperture, like f/4 to f/2  (this will let a lot of light in and limit the depth of field, overexposing and softening the background).

3. Set the exposure compensation for +2 stops.

4. Position the sun directly behind the subject.

5. Set the shutter speed around 1/180 sec.

6. Take a few sample shots, adjusting the shutter speed until I get the right exposure for the subject.

7. That’s it! The tricky part is keeping the subject between you and sun while you both move around to get the pose/shot you want.

Join us for a photography course or specialty workshop in Costa Rica to learn more great techniques like this.

 

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