Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #247—Backlit

This week Ann-Christine challenges us to explore backlit photography. 

What is backlit photography?

Backlight is light that hits the subject from behind, typically higher than the subject it is exposing.

Backlighting can be a very effective tool if used skillfully. If backlighting is employed well, it can bring a greater sense of depth and an emotional aesthetic to photographs.

Backlighting a photograph is not the simplest method of lighting in photography, nor is it right for every photograph. The first step to mastering backlight photography is understanding the effects that backlighting has on an image. The primary effects of backlighting include:

I use this technique on nature macro photos most often and of course on sunsets and rises, and I noticed night photos are also mostly done this way.

But when I was looking for samples I came to realise that I use sidelight more frequently. They are also often backlit, but, so that light is slightly is more on the side, so I don’t know if it is technically backlit. This happens mostly in portraits. Is this like splitting hairs? Not important?

Good use of natural light. If you’re shooting outside with a small amount of natural light, backlighting can be a good way to take advantage of your lighting situation to produce a striking and evocative image.

Street photography and architecture looks more interesting in backlite.

Depth. Backlight photography emphasizes the depth behind the subject and gives images a greater sense of place.

Dramatic effect. Backlighting can produce a dramatic contrast between the subject and the background. This can be an especially effective technique when shooting outdoor portraits.

I invite you to join us this week for Ann-Christine’s Backlit challenge. 

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29 thoughts on “Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #247—Backlit

  1. You’ve explained and illustrated so beautifully, Ritva. I agree that side light is different from purely back light but I think they’re close enough and certain different in effect from regular lighting. I loved the second set and was ready to designate that my favorite but the third set blew me away. Fantastic gallery!

  2. You are certainly skilled at this, Ritva! So many gorgeous images I don’t know how to pick favourites. But, the forests are always superb, I loved the indoors and the pier. And, you also manage portraits perfectly. I simply Love all of these!

  3. Great selections, all. I love the child with the tube/stick on her nose. I hope it’s not a blowgun! 😱😂

  4. I love the way you tool time to explain the backlit you were capturing. I particularly loved the street art and architecture this week. The kid with the hose on the nose for the win! lol So many wonderful choices to love this week.

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