8 week online workshop
lesson 4

I’ve spent the last week on the road photographing a group of cyclists doing a charity ride to raise money for cancer care centres, so I’ve had lots of chances to practice lots of things I’ve learnt but not so many small people around to practice on! So I’ve pounced on what opportunities I have had. When I had Heather out in her pjs in the magic hour the other day I was thinking about backlighting a lot, that’s where the first and third photos came from. The first is my attempt at lens flare (ISO 200 f/2 1/4000), I’m not so keen on the way there is flare over her face but I think the shot has a soft, vintage feel and I like that, even if it isn’t very technically proficient! I’ll have to head out post dinner this week to try again! I love the way the backlighting has lit up the top of her head in the third photo (ISO 200 f/2 /1/125) but everything else is so clear and well exposed (at least, I think so?!). Yay for spot metering! Trying to look at it through your eyes, Robyn, you might say that the bright patch at the top left hand corner is distracting, I tried to brush it out but failed, you will have to tell me how to do this properly!
Number two is the super cute little girl who belonged to one of the riders – when she turned up at the end of one of the days I grabbed the opportunity to use her as a model. I went for a really shallow dof to try and highlight those sparkly blue eyes (ISO 200 50mm f/1.8 1/800), we were under trees but with bright light all around so there were nice catchlights in her eyes too. And I’ve left the food on the face, because I like it in this case. She was demolishing watermelon like she was the one who had just ridden 190kms!
And the last image of my girl and her daddy enjoying their burgers is mainly for cute factor. Because, awwwww. And since it is backlit then it’s not such a stretch to put it here 🙂
Sorry – long post again. I do that. Wordy lawyering type.

Backlighting Backlighting-2 Backlighting-1 Backlighting-3

I live in the beautiful hills of Perth with my husband and three year old daughter. I have degrees in history and law but am staying home for a few years to raise my gorgeous little girl. I love creative pursuits, be it creative play with my three year old, sewing, or my new passion - photography. I've owned a DSLR for about 6 years but have only just started to really explore it's capabilities (and mine!).


  1. What a great thing to do to photograph the cyclists. I bet you learned heaps!
    So on to the feedback. I LOVE them. #1 The thing about lens flare is that you can’t really control where it falls. I usually take 3 or 4 slightly changing my position when I’m going for deliberate flare. That way you have a better chance of getting 1 that you like. I think this one could do with a bit of processing to make it really pop. Lesson 8 contains some tricks for getting the most from your backlit images. #2 love the rim of light around her hair – well done. #3 OMG how beautiful are those eyes. And you guessed how I’d feel about the bright spot 🙂 But this would be incredibly hard to get rid of in post production and the rest of the image does a great job of drawing my eye back in, so the distraction is not a major drama. #4 awwwwww….
    And lastly don’t apologise for long posts. I love hearing the background behind the photos and the details of how/why they were taken.

    • Thank you, Robyn. I’ll come back to the lens flare shot when I (eventually) get to lesson 8 – I’m really looking forward to those lessons. I had a bit of a play with it but didn’t really like anything I did so this is basically straight out of the camera. I’m also determined to try again!!

  2. They are all brilliant photos. You do so many cool things with your time I love the first photo and the photo with those eyes gorgeous you can see every little thing in them.

    • Thank you 🙂 Feels more like I spend half my life in a car racing from one thing to the next rather than doing lots of cool things at the moment! Those big bright blue eyes are something else, though, aren’t they?

  3. Beautiful! I love how the edges of their hair just glow with the backlighting. I love the close up of the little girl with watermelon on her face. I think I so often forget to get really close and it looks great. I also love the photo of your daughter with her pink crocs. I think that one needs to be framed 🙂

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