20 April 2013


The last direction light can come from is behind your subject. This can create some fun and exciting effects in your images. Most silhouettes take advantage of backlighting. In the shot accompanying this post I manually set the exposure to place the sun as a medium orange, this renders my subject as a silhouette. When setting up a shot like this you will be very surprised by how fast the sun actually moves through the frame. It is much easier to frame the subject a little ahead of the sun and let the sun move into your composition. Another great tip is to use live view to frame things up so you are not looking through your viewfinder at the very bright sun. Thanks to Glenn Nagel for that last tip!


I like to use backlighting when shooting translucent subjects as well. For instance when shooting leaves I will often place the leaf so the sun is directly behind it. This type of lighting really shows of the vein patterns of the leaf. Rim-lighting is also an effect that can be achieved with backlighting. With rim-lighting the main source is often hidden behind the subject. The exposure is then based on the shaded side of the subject. This renders the light spilling around the edges of your subject from behind as a bright halo around your subject. This halo emphasizes the shape of your subject as well as helping to separate it from the background.

Next week we will start talking about the quality of the light.

Good Luck and Good Light


Image: Dewy Skipper Butterfly and Sun