How to Control the Light on the Backdrop of a Portrait Photo

When it comes to learning lighting, we often focus on how to light the subject in a flattering way, but of course, the backdrop deserves attention too. It is about more than just getting the exposure on the background right, however. With a bit of know-how, you can drastically alter the appearance of the background just by how you place your subject and source relative to it. This great video tutorial will show you how to adjust your lighting to take full control of the appearance of your backdrop.

Coming to you from Ashley Boring with Westcott Lighting, this excellent video tutorial will show you how to control the lighting on your backdrop. Though it can be useful to have lights specifically for the backdrop, as you will notice, you can actually adjust quite a bit with a single source while maintaining the same light on your subject. The key is controlling the relative distances between your source, subject, and backdrop. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Boring. 

If you would like to continue learning about how to light a portrait, be sure to check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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