Backlight Placement


Film Photography with Strobe Lighting


Lesson Info

Backlight Placement

Backlighting with strobes is really fun, and really easy to do, and again, is something I do all the time. And this is really just using that light in that 90 degree, kind of, position. So I'm gonna move it over here, and, this is that Wescott 50 by that I talked about at the beginning, that I used to love because it looked just like a window. Um, but when you are using any kind of a strobe with back lighting, I wouldn't do it with this obviously because we have the strobe unit right here. I mean, you could cover it up with your head, but, you just use it like a window. So you would bring it up. I need a model again, guys. Alright. Thank you. So you would bring it up so that they're positioned with it around them just like you would a window. The same rules apply. Light is light. And then I would be here. Now, with this image, do you mind just staying there for just a second? With this image, um, I shot this in my studio, and again, my studio has these big white walls everywhere. So, ...

I had her in the strobe, with the strobe behind her. She was here, I was here, wall was behind me. So all of that light then, let me grab my camera. All of that light that was coming out was bouncing off of that white wall and back to her, which is why she's lit so nicely in the front. And you know, I'm here like this. What's great about this sort of a set up is that you do get this pretty light that kind of wraps around. And you can see that here, where you get this light that's wrapped around. So it kind of gives you some fun things to play with. If you want to back light her, and you wanna see her face, then you bring in a reflector, and you meter for those shadows, right there. Um, where's my meter? And you meter for those shadows, in this sort of a situation, with black and white or color. If you want her face in the photo, so I would go down here, because that light's gonna come this way, and kind of wrap around. And you have a reflector here, it's gonna bounce that light back on her face, and you're gonna get this pretty back-lit photo, that looks like you took it in a window. So, there's a baby, same thing. Now, what's fun with back lighting with strobes is that you can get really dramatic with this. So, if I can turn you this way. Let's say you're working, this is really fun with maternity. Or you're wanting to do more of a dramatic, kind of, side portrait. And you can shoot this way to do some sort of silhouette, and if you meter for your highlights, so you're getting that light that's coming out, and you don't put a reflector or anything around, then you're gonna get this really dramatic high-key background that's really blown, with this really beautiful, dark silhouette in the front. And then you'll get this light that kind of spills out, so it's a really fun way you know like with collarbones, and belly bumps, and all that sort of thing, to play around with it, which is fun. Thank you.

Class Description

To get the best portrait straight out of camera you need to control your light. Family and Newborn Photographer, Sandra Coan, walks through how easy it is to use lights with your film camera for the most control over how your image ultimately looks. In this course, Sandra will talk about how to approach your photo shoot by thinking about not only your subject but also the film and the light you want to create.

You’ll learn:

  • How to sync the flash with your film camera
  • How to meter for your subject and the light you’re adding to the image
  • How to choose the best film based off what you’d like the final image to look like

Throughout history, photographers have been using flash with film cameras. In this course, Sandra will cover everything to give you the knowledge to start taking portraits with your camera and strobes.


a Creativelive Student

Wow! with a lot of online stuff out there one can become rather overcome with too much information, however, the way Sandra presents her courses is just perfect! Her honest and simple and easy to understand approach was just what I needed. Not once did I think she was just going through the motions, she really loves what she does and it shows. To be able to rewatch and rewatch was also a key for me. Since I have dyslexia I have to take things one half step at a. time. After completion of the class I had a new found confidence when using strobes. A must have.

Micah Hewett Images

Out of all the classes I own on Creative Live, Strobe Lighting with Sandra is my FAVORITE! She is an incredibly kind and gifted teacher. She explains everything on a simple level and then gradually build to more complex issues. I am 100% happy with this course. Thank you Sandra!!

Gabby de Janasz

Sandra Coan is a lighting genius! I loved watching her high-energy and super informative class. I learned way more about studio lighting than I ever thought was possible. I'd definitely recommend this class to literally any person in photography, not just studio photographers. Thanks Sandra!!