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Child Photography – Shoot Backlight With Fujifilm X100T

X100T Classic Chrome + Snapseed on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + after light  on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + After Lgiht on iPad

X100T Classic Chrome + Snapseed on iPad

When we compare the workflow of a photo let say 5 years ago, things has been changed a lot. When we shoot with camera, we do have an options for our jpeg output like Black and White or Sephia etc. But the latest camera (talking about Fujifilm) nowadays have another option called Film Simulation. My first 4 months of using Fujifilm X-Pro 1, I shoot with “Astia”. I like the effect how it deepen the shadow area and pops out the colour but not too much which suits my taste. This Film Simulation effects will do nothing to your RAW file. With X100T, I think I’m in love with the Classic Chrome, it appear to be a default film simulation in my camera which I use almost all the time except when I shoot in black and white. After the shooting, you need to transfer your images to your computer, do some editing to enhance the photo and share your work in Facebook or other social media.

Then the WIFI feature introduced in most of the camera nowadays. We can now install apps to our phones or tabs and connect to our camera. When connected, we can geotag, browse and fully control a “live” remote shooting with it. The images can be shared straight away after the shooting without transferring images to a computer. It actually cut down the workflow that we used before. The are dozens of photo apps can be downloaded providing amazing photo enhancement. For me, by the time I write this post, I’m using Snapseed, Afterlight and VSCO cam, there are some limitation with these apps, but not a big issue if those images intended just to be share on social media.

Shooting Backlight – It can be at your own backyard

I took these photos during my trip to Labuan last year. I was really in love with backlighting during that moment. I took my family to search for a shooting location. We moved 1 place to another, but I couldn’t find the desired spot. So I decide to just forget about it and move on to do something else. On our way to the City, we passed by Jumidar Buyong, there was an empty lots for sale among the elite houses with the scenery that I was looking for. The challenge here is to deal with my background, the best is to have trees as background or at least any dark background. I have no choice but to raise my camera higher than my daughter’s eye level. Another challenge is to keep my daughter to stay in focus, she can’t stay still even for a few second. I managed to get few shot, the shooting time is less than 5 minutes, but 1 of these shot stays for months at my phone wallpaper. It was 1 of my favourite backlighting shot I ever made. Below is my shot sequence on my attempt to get the shot I intended.

1. I like the sun ray above my dauther’s head, this kind of ray I what I looking of in backlight, but the houses is distracting this shot.

2. I managed to get clean version of the shot. I raised my camera above my daughter’s eye level. I quite happy with the shot but I think I need to be closer as there are so much negative space in this shot. It actually works if we planned to put some writing on it.

3. I move closer, shot with lower angle than the previous image. I knew this was the shot I was looking for but I kept shooting few more angle. Back at home when editing, this image is the shot I like the most.

This image was shot using Nikon D90 with Nikkor 35mm 1.8 @ F2.8. What I learned is:

  • it is better to visualise the desired shot, this could be your starting point to plan your shoot
  • when you visualise, to find location is much more easier
  • if the location is not working, forget about it and find another location.
  • to pay attention on distraction at the background and its surrounding
  • if it doesn’t work at this angle, try another and keep trying
  • go out there and shoot!

“The most important lessons in life can never be expressed in black and white, but must be experienced” – Benny Lewis

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Child Photography | Backlight II

These are some additional images from previous post.

Actually, these are collection of my favourite picture i took recently. However, those picture has several issue that it doesn’t speak like the other 2 images in my previous post. Sometimes, we are there at the right time, good lighting and you can’t miss the shot. But capturing with natural light need you to be quick especially during golden hour as the sun can’t wait us to clean up things (background/foreground), to stage or to arrange certain kind of thing. Even though it has several weakness, it does speak. I didn’t missed the expression & mood. It is good enough to print it and put it in our family photo album

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight II

Child Photography | Backlight

I can’t describe how i really love backlighting. When I travel around, I always scout the best place for backlighting. There are actually countless good backlighting spots between Kota Belud and Kudat.  Most of the spots are located just by the road site, but we still need to enter locals compound to be able to get the best composition. Kota Belud offering backlight with paddy field and chances to get some nice reflection too. When i drive back and fourth to Kota Marudu from Kota Kinabalu, I always want to stop by and take some picture. Time constrains, bad weather and most often is to pass this route not at the right time are the reason why i still have no photo of it until today.

Anyway, these are some backlight shots i managed to get recently at Kg. Indrason, Matunggong.

Child Photography | Backlighting

Child Photography | Backlighting

About the pictures above, all are taken with available light. The trade off for backlighting is we can’t really preserve clouds detail and it will appeared clipping highlight in our histogram. Those images then post-prosessed in Lightroom with VSCO Film Pack 04 presets.

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I Love Backlight

I’ve been fascinated by tons of backlight photos over flickr & 500px users. In my opinion, backlight images creates more impact on the subject mood.

The backlight can be a natural or artificial source of light. When artificial, the back light is usually placed directly behind the subject. Backlighting helps to provide separation between the subject and its background. Backlighting will cause the edges of his or her hair to glow if he or she has fuzzy hair. This gives an angelic halo type effect around the head.

For the image above, i wasn’t planned to shoot that day until we made a stop at local grocery. While waiting for my wife to buy some stuff at the grocery, i realised that there is good quality of light from the sun and i see there’s a good spot just in front of the car park. It takes just second for me to ask my daughter to just stand at the point i want it to compose. I took several shots and it came out this image which is the one i’m satisfied the most, although it there was distraction from the leave in front with the lens flare. The catchlight on the eyes added bonus as we actually in the shade area. We couldn’t stay longer as the mosquitos keep on dining at my feet. The pose of my daughter was not posed by me, it was her spontaneous pose while i’m keep on shooting.

Intro

Dear readers,

First of all, i dont know how to start in but i can’t start without starting it in the first time. Well, it took me almost a month before i write this introduction since i made this blog. I’m not fluent in english but i’ll try my best to make you…. at least get the point, i do welcome some grammar correction. My purpose to write in english is so that not only Malaysian will understand what i’m blogging here, but worldwide.

I’m Shukur, Kota Kinabalu based photographer. Been actively shooting since year 2009. I shoot both available light & strobes, but available light is what i prefer the most.  I’m interested taking portrait of people, and hoping to have a chance to take maternity & newborn in future.

I’m now in love with backlighting, or maybe i’m addicted to it.

Luckily I have a 2 year old daughter, which is my main subject in learn & studying my craft in photography. So be prepared to see her face most of the time.  🙂

I really hope that what i blog here will give an advantage to others or at least to give some guidance if not really solve it.

I may also regularly post my past work and share experience / stories that I’d learned along the way.

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Lets start from here...

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