Weekly Photography Challenge – Backlighting


Light is the most important thing in photography – you’ll hear that from many pros and teachers. There are many creative ways to use light, different colors of light, and direction of light.

This week we’re going to focus on one particular direction of light – backlighting – for this week’s photography challenge.

With the sun behind the subject here, it gives her a nice outline or rim lighting effect. A reflector was used to add light back into her face so it wasn’t too dark. 

There are many subjects that look great with backlighting – in particular flowers and leaves. As they are slightly translucent objects, the light comes through them and gives them a nice glow. Other items have unique shapes or texture are highlighted with backlighting.

The color of leaves really jumps out when they are backlit.

The sun hitting this yellow leaf from behind really makes it stand out against the dark wood of the old bridge.

This little cactus has all of its spines really stand out due to the backlighting.

If you need more help on this topic, read: How to Understand Natural Light Part 3: Direction of Light – or How to Backlight Translucent Objects for Dramatic Effect

Backlighting can make your subject in shadow so be conscious of that.

Weekly Photography Challenge – Backlighting

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer, upload them to your favorite photo-sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Share in the dPS Facebook Group

You can also share your images in the dPS Facebook group as the challenge is posted there each week as well.

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Darlene Hildebrandt is the Managing Editor of dPS. She is also an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through articles, online photography classes, and travel tours. Get her free ebook 10 Photography Challenges to help you take better pictures or join a photo tour to some exotic places.

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