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How to take back lit subject with GX7

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by CX5, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. CX5

    CX5 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Jan 23, 2013
    I have been taking pictures for years, but I am not expert in techiques.


    If you have a sun behind you in outdoor setting, how do you take this backlit subject with Panasonic GX7?
    -Do you use fill flah, if so do you use full power? (I have experienmented with full power, -1/3, -2/3 and -1flash EV)
    -I also tried Idyamanic and higlight shadow adjustment with very little difference.

    Please let me know if outdoor how you set your camera? In addition, if you can tell me how you set your camera indoor (not backlit) to get perfectly exposed photo will be appreciated. (I find flash on full power too bright, so somewhere -1/3 or -2/3flash EV seems to expose better, what is your experience.)

    Thanks
     
  2. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Are you talking about portraits?
     
  3. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Honestly as a starting point try using face detection, it does a remarkable job exposing faces/people under a variety of conditions. Secondly outdoors depends on whether you care about the background exposing properly or not. If you do, then use fill flash but you will likely need to use high speed sync (which means external flash) if it is really bright out, otherwise just switch to spot (or touch AE) and expose for the face. Again depending on how bright the backlight is you may just be able to adjust in post if you shoot RAW as well, at the least it will buy you some additional exposure latitude.
     
  4. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    350
    Dec 8, 2012
    I shoot backlit a ton, mostly of people, sometimes portraits, sometimes candids. For me, my exposure priority is all about the face, and it doesn't bother me if the background goes very bright. And I HATE the look of on-camera flash. With a mirrorless camera (vs SLR) you have the advantage of being able to see in real time the exposure on the back screen or in the EVF. Use P mode, or Aperture Priority with Auto ISO. Dial your exposure compensation on the fly to get the look you're going for, as you see it in the EVF or on the screen. If you're shooting RAW, you can shoot a little darker, knowing that in post you can bring up the shadows on the face, and this will leave more highlights recoverable in the background.

    If you want to keep a nice, rich background, you will need flash. Depending on how bright the daylight is, and how close the subject is, the built in flash will often not have enough power, and I think it looks terrible anyway. If you want to do it well, you'll want an off-camera flash and some sort of diffuser to soften the light (see Strobist.com to get started). Careful, this rabbit hole runs deep.
     
  5. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    I love Contre-jour/backlit style portraits. In most cases you want your subject properly lit. There are many ways to go about it, depends on what type of look you want. When I need fill light I prefer using reflectors. However I disagree about flash looking unnatural though. When done properly flash is an effective tool. When done properly.

    Then there are times I don't use fill light and I simply expose with post processing in mind. I will over expose slightly to get the faces better exposed, background will get blown but that's ok, portraits are about faces, what's in the back is there to enhance it.

    Each technique yields unique looks, there is no one way to do it. Be creative, experiment. Here are some examples:

    Reflector:
    11151691984_cb39331206_c.
    Paige - Contre-jour by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Available light:
    8652852605_535494698e_c.
    Light by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Flash:
    10393721425_aebbe08b95_c.
    Every step you take by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Flash:
    9348382968_6d4ed1e020_c.
    52/365 Contre-jour by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Reflector:
    11162172523_b1316a81e9_c.
    Glamorous by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Available light:
    7281640150_ede32845ee_c.
    In the forest by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Available light:
    10320507005_0222838edc_c.
    138/365 Here comes the sun by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr

    Available light:
    11203257516_502c5473ae_c.
    Golden by Vincent-F-Tsai, on Flickr
     
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  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    One more thing, this is all related to technique. It doesn't matter if you are shooting GX7 or D800.
     
  7. CX5

    CX5 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Jan 23, 2013
    Thank you for all of you. I now begin to think I need more experiments, but at least I have a base to go by, such as exposing for the face and forget the background, or use reflector or use fill flash to balance the subject and back group.

    Dear Spatulaboy, your photos are exceptional. Please let me know how you do a proper fill flash if possible will be appreciated. I did try different flash exposures as well as using IDyamic etc., but could not produce the photos you have. Thank you again.
     
  8. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Nov 8, 2013
    completely agree with the other posts, and the key you seem to be looking for is in setting the exposure in the camera to the backgound lighting and using the flash gun to meter the face (in Auto mode) or the camera to seperately meter the face (using the flash in TTL Auto mode) - in both cases you would lock off the exposure for the background by using the camera in M mode.

    there are variations in the mechanics but I hope this way of explaining it helps. you will definitely want a good flash gun going this route but, despite being a deep rabbit hole, it's definitly one of the most rewarding.