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How To: Create Hazy Backlit Portraits

Written by Sasha Bell

We get a lot of questions asking how we create hazy backlit portraits. 8968581651_559710ede6_o

So thought we would include some tips on this subject.  So first you want to make sure the sun is out, the best time to photograph into the sun is around 4pm to 5pm in the afternoon in the summer.

The Golden Hour Time

Depending on your time zone and season, this may change by a few hours, i.e. if the sun goes down at 9pm, then maybe 6pm or 7pm is best. You need to look at the light and see when it gets warm, just before it goes down. This is the best “golden” light we all love…

The part that can be tricky is getting the focus right, so what we do is use autofocus to get the focus, and then switch to manual focus.

But make sure you don’t move forward or backwards or you will lose the focus.

It is important your model understands this too – What you also want to be aware of, is not to point your camera directly into the sun, otherwise your photograph will be 100% washed out.

How To Capture The Best Angle

Try and position yourself (and the model) so the sunburst is in the corner of frame or if you have something like a bush in the background (like the photograph above) you can point the camera more directly to where the sun is…

But not 100% or your photograph will look washed out and have very little detail, which you still want, even if the photo needs to be soft and dreamy…

The best thing you can do is try a few positions, then you will learn how much, or how little you can do and what is best for you and your photograph on this particular day.


Test, Try and Repeat.

Remember what we always say… test and try! This is how we always find a solution and a way to get a beautiful photograph.

The more you test things, and see the results, the more you learn what works and what does not work… then you get better and better from this!


Lightroom Presets for Portrait Photography and MORE

Take a look at our full range of Lightroom Presets – as we demonstrate day in, and day out, they are really invaluable to us, and we absolutely love these Lightroom Presets for all types of photography, as shown in the the blog post – these presets work on portraits, to food and much more.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Get a Taster of our Lightroom Presets

Download our FREE Radiant Glow Lightroom Preset

– This Lightroom Preset works for a wide variety of subjects, including portraits, nature, animals, landscape etc

– Download this Radiant Glow Lightroom Preset to get a taster of how fantastic The Bell Sisters’ Lightroom Presets are to use on your photography.

Below is a before and after of Radiant Glow Lightroom Preset:

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About the author

Sasha Bell

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