What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are time and light.
— John Berger
Backlighting is dramatic. It often creates silhouettes, yellow halos around the subject, and/or a brilliantly bright background.
Therefore, backlighting is great if you want to create stunning, eye-catching effects. Here are a handful of specific images you can make with backlighting: Street and portrait silhouettes, bird-in-flight silhouettes, portraits and macros with beautiful background bokeh, landscape silhouettes and sunset/sunrise landscapes.
One of my favourite subjects for backlit photography is flowers. Then I rely on the sun as the light source.
Essentially what photography is is life lit up.
— Sam Abell
However, the sun is not always shining…and some plants bloom only when it is dark, so this night blooming cactus was lit up from behind with a soft lamp.
Another favourite is autumn leaves and autumn scenery. Some years we have very little sun and/or little colours in the leaves, but when everything comes together – the results can be stunning.
Winter offers different possibilities when there is snow and ice. Light and shadow can show off for example fur, uneven ground and a shining layer of frost or snow on top.
If we look at things where backlighting is a must, we will find for example aquariums, various screens (phone, TV, computer, camera, etc…). Stained glass windows are perfect examples of how backlight always have been used. And they are still, today, eye-catching beauties.
The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.
— Orson Welles
Backlight is a versatile instrument in making pictures really come alive, even if they are only silhouettes or very dark. For landscapes it can be magical.
I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.
— Ernst Haas
My home and my garden are always in my lens – and often in backlight. If you photograph the same things every year, you must vary your approach!
Photography is a love affair with life.
— Burk Uzzle
Finally, I was presented with some lovely roses from my husband last week – I could not leave you without them! The sun is shining in through my windows, and on top of that, I made a double exposure.
Many thanks to Patti for having us try Still Life last week – a really challenging subject, but we all rose to the occation! So many interesting and unusual answers!
Now I hope to have given you a taste of backlit photography, and we are looking forward to seeing your images and posts. Tag with Lens-Artists and link to my original post. Hope to see you soon, but until then, please be as kind as ever to others – and to yourself.
Next week it is Sofia who is hosting on the theme Mood. Places, photography styles, situations or portraits where moods are recognisable.
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A terrific post with so many amazing images Ann-Christine. Just love this post.
Thank you so much, Rupali!
Wow, this series of backlit photos are truly stunning ~ exactly why backlighting, when done correctly, creates such magical shots.
Thank you very much, Dalo.
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That gallery of winter shots is stunning. I also love the dreamy feeling in the magical landscape of trees by a stream. I’m late (as usual) however this was a very fun challenge!
Thank you so much, Lindy, I loved yours too, seascapes and birds. It seems the winter shots are popular.
Here is mine for the week
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Ann-Christine, thanks choosing such a great topic for the week!! Here is a link to my post: https://mycolorfulexpressions.com/lens-artists-photo-challenge-247-backlit/
Glad you liked the theme, Sylvia!
A stunning set of images for a great topic, A-C 😃 Mine for this week: https://jezbraithwaite.blog/2023/05/05/backlit-lens-artists-challenge-247/
Thank you so much, Jez – I had great fun putting them together.
You’re very welcome 😊
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You always give us a tough time in deciding which one of the examples from your collection is the best!
You also give us the answer. We have no choice and we select all the photos since they are the best.
Love the snow and ice, misty click, your pet click (Is it not Lotto?), the tree with glow at the top and shadows and every click is a masterpiece.
Thank you, AC.
Why thank you ever so much…don’t want to make things difficult for you ;-D Totti is in the field!
I think the click with Totti is the best!
Had he been here, I would have told him, ♥
Oh! So sorry!
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Wow, so many beautiful examples of backlighting – you really do demonstrate how it can enhance a subject! Among many favourites I’d pick out that first stunning flower, the misty river landscape and the berries that look almost transparent against the sun 😮
I’ve been running behind this week but at last I have my response published: https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/gallery-backlighting-to-add-drama-and-atmosphere/
And it was so worth waiting for! I did not expect anything less, of course, Excellent choices.
Thank you 😊😊
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I finally managed to put together my post for this challenge 🙂
Thank you, PR!
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W.O.W!! Love your backlit gallery. What a treat to see these stunnig images, AC!
Here is my entry: https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2023/05/03/lens-artists-challenge-247-backlit/
You are always very kind, Amy! Thank you for an excellent entry from you!
You are running a very popular challenge this week. Here is my entry.
Thank you, Cee! I guess many of us love the possibilities in backlight!
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The examples you have shared are just so amazingly wonderful, Ann-Christine. You’ve certainly mastered this technique up to the perfection 🙂
Now that was high praise, Hammad! Thank you very much!
This is a beautiful post, and a great challenge. I love the drama of backlit pictures. Here‘s one more: https://empireoflights.com/2023/05/03/area-23-main-gate/. Enjoy!
Glad you like the challenge, Tobias!
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Great tips on using backlighting in photography! It can definitely add a dramatic effect to images and make them come alive. Looking forward to experimenting with this technique. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reading and commenting!
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Leya, these are lovely examples of backlighting and they are all dramatic. I love the double exposure, too. There are so many here to love and enjoy. The frozen jelly fish are certainly something you don’t see very many places! The foggy forest is heavenly. I have a few fun backlit photos in my Wednesday WQ post tomorrow. This was an inspiring topic, my friend. 🙂
Glad you liked it Marsha! I’ll be on the lookout for your post!
My contribution for this challenge: https://travelways.com/backlit-pictures-along-my-travels/
I love your photographs Leya, hard to point to a specific one, but I adore your autumn leaves by the water 🙂
Thank you, Tatiana – the autumn leaves seem to be a star here!
Wonderful backlit photography Leya! I especially adore the autumn leaves by the water.
Here is my contribution for this challenge: https://travelways.com/backlit-pictures-along-my-travels/
Thank you so much, Tatiana – autumn leaves backlit make their colours shine.
I love your photos! The misty morning at the river is special! Thanks for the challenge.
Thank you! That is one of my own favourites.
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These are so many great photos Ann-Christine. I love all of these.
Thank you, Anita! And your post was delicious. What a marvelous moon shot!
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Beautiful photos as always. Love those translucent roses specially, an effect that I must try to work with. Thank you for these suggestions
Unfortunately, this week I have a good backlight to show, but the subject is very much more muted: https://anotherglobaleater.wordpress.com/2023/05/01/evening-clouds/
Thank you, I.J. Roses are almost always beautiful!
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This is a fun challenge Ann-Christine. Your example images are outstanding. Back lighting can create many moods. I’ll see what I can find in my archives.
Thank you, Anne! Looking forward to seeing your post!
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All are beautiful. Love the autumn leaves!
Thank you, Sandy, it was a gorgeous autumn that year!
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These images are an absolute delight, A-C. The sun in the snow-frosty tree; the glowing red currants; dewy-jewelled web; misty dawn woods; light dappled leaves. Each composition lifts the spirits in its own way.
Thank you, Tish, I must say you made my day – so happy the images were delightful for you. I really enjoyed putting this post together.
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I so love all your photos Ann-Christine. But for me it is the foggy sunset scene with the river that took my breath away. And of course there is the photo of your dog in the field.
Here is mine https://mywanderings.travel.blog/2023/05/01/autumn-in-emerald-lake/
Thank you, Teresa, you picked my favourite too. That morning by the river was unforgettable.
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These photos are all so beautiful!!
Thank you, Nora, my favourite kind of photography – so I am happy you liked them!
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Thanks for reminding me, here is my post: https://secondwindleisure.com/2023/04/30/sunday-stills-views-from-the-road-all-3400-miles/
hello a. c.,
a wonderful and interesting theme, i like the selection of images very much, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 9th 10th and your double exposure.
here is my contribution to the challenge week, https://wp.me/pdALlZ-t3.
many greetings robert
I am happy to hear you liked them! Thank you!
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What a beautiful series of backlit photos! I especially Love the night blooming cactus, my parents had one for many years and they were always so excited when it bloomed!! I’ll send my post out soon.
Thank you, Sylvia! Looking forward to seeing your post!
Beautiful! The one with the light coming in through the mist along the river is my favorite.
Here is my contribution: https://florinpopa.eu/backlit-photography/
Thank you, Florin! One of my favourites that morning by the river.
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Here’s a link to my entry: https://travelswithtoby.net/2023/04/30/lens-artist-challenge-backlit/
Another fun one!! Thank you!
You are welcome!
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What an outstanding post, theme, and collection of images, AC. Truly wonderful! You have a gift of discovering and capturing beauty. I love all your images, but as always, your sweet Milli, steals my heart. Those roses are also competing for my heart this week!
Here’s a link to my collection: https://pilotfishblog.com/2023/04/29/lens-artists-247-backlit/
Thank you, Patti – my dogs always win the prize, don’t they?
Yes they do!
Here is my link, Anne-Christine, thank you again for the inspiration and such beautiful photography: https://secondwindleisure.com/2023/04/30/sunday-stills-views-from-the-road-all-3400-miles/
Thank You for this fabulous roadtrip!
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An outstanding collection this week Ann-Christine. I loved them all but must admit I found the double-exposure of your roses to be a masterpiece! I was also drawn to the ethereal scene of the foggy river with barren trees. All marvelous.
Thank you so much, Tina – I really enjoyed this challenge of mine. I love all the entries so far – very varied and interesting.
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Nice photos here.
I think they’re all good, but the one that I’m drawn to most is the one with the ice sculptures.
At least, I think they’re ice sculptures of some sort. Are they meant to be jellyfish?
Anyway, I like how it’s more of a ”muted” photo of sorts. It feels quiet in a sense.
Here’s mine for this one:
Thank you! Yes, I think they are made as jellyfish or octopuses. Glad you like them, they are at the ice hotel.
I love all your pics! Great!
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An interesting challenge, which you have of course illustrated beautifully.
Interesting, good! I am enjoying all the different answers!
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Beautiful images and a very photographic challenge.
Thank you, Ana, I am glad you enjoyed them! And yes, photographic it is, but I think most of us use this technique – maybe without thinking!
Beautiful!! Your collection of photos is a treat for my eyes! 😍
I am glad! Thank you, Lisa!
These are beautiful examples, A-C. I love the spider web (light+drops=love). The ice hotel room amuses me because it looks like lots of giant octopi/octopuses. The roses are beautiful. How thoughtful of your husband. I love backlight so thanks for the theme. 🙂
Thank you, Janet – and I loved your backlit choices too. I often think of ”your” park and all the beautiful images you made from there.
That’s nice to hear, A-C. It was a beautiful place and we’re in a beautiful, albeit very different, place now.
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Amazing photography! You inspire me.
Thank you, VJ, nothing beats hearing this!
Your Autumn and Winter images are fabulous, Ann-Christine. And you must have such fun with your flowers 🤗💖
Thanks, Jo – and yes, always fun with my flowers. I find backlight fascinating.
You ave given us such a wonderful collection of backlit photos. The stained glass window is spectacular!
Thank you, Anne – happy you liked them. The stained glass was from Prague and Spain.
With this series you gave us a nice demonstration of the backlit technique. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend.
Thank you – I wish you the same!
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Thank you – cannot get enough of this!
Wow, beyond stunning, Anne-Christine! What a wonderful inspiration for all of us photographers. I’ll join you tomorrow with my Sunday Stills post. The sunlight illuminating the autumn and winter trees looks amazing, as does the roses!
Thank you, Terry! Looking forward to seeing your post!
The Haas quote ”….I am interested to see things new”, emphasizes your entire post today. I do love flowers like you, and to see them backlit brings more definition,a totally different look, and the berries are almost translucent, aren’t they? The spiderweb is alive in that light, and I completely forgot stained glass would be applicable here. I do have favorites – The winter scenes, very different from my world, are so quiet. Tranquility at its finest. Loved the topic. And you are right, once you start looking, you find it everywhere.
You always make me feel in harmony with your comments, Donna. I am very grateful that you liked the topic – and so true that if we look closer, we will find backlit everywhere. It’s a gift.
So many lovely images! Love the roses and the stained glass and the winter scenes. WOW!
Thank you very much, Toby! I am glad you found some loveliness in this, and I hope you liked the theme!
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Oh Ann-Christine, these photos are spectacular for this week. 😀 😀
Thank you so much, Cee!
So many beautiful examples, Ann-Christine. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s responses. You have given so much inspiration in the post.
Thank you, John! Being inspirational is about the best thing to hear!
Wow, just some really beautiful images. Great idea for theme too.
Thank you, Dawn, so glad you liked the theme too! I think maybe all of us have such images, but maybe haven’t thought of them being backlit!
Wonderful theme and so many great photos Ann-Christine 🙂
Thank you so much, Brian! I loved putting it together…and I loved your entry! Just contemplated it!
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Beautiful pictures 👍 dear Ann-Christine.
Is the seventh picture taken in the ice-hotel?
Wishing you a relaxed weekend
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thank you – it is from the ice hotel, yes. A lovely room and bed, but we did not stay over night!
What a wonderful topic and awesome examples, Ann-Christine. Hard to pick a favorite!
Thank you so much, Andre! I enjoy the many creative entries too!
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This is the kind of post that stays in the mind for a long time, it just feels you really loved putting it together, words and every photo is exquisite. I am inspired by it. I’m also not picking a favourite, they all are.
Here is mine:
Sofia, you really made my day – and you read me well! I did love putting this together, even if I found it difficult to chose what images to use. I started off with many more…but have to make them show different ways of backlit. I am enjoying looking at every post coming in!
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Hmm. Great photos. Stained glass and sun through trees I may have. Love your spider, dog, autumnal, et al. Excellent.
Thank you so much, John – I know you will come up with something interesting!
You have mastered this technique, it is also one of my favorites. The inspiration here is great and showcase the technique so that it can help to create something similar. I will definitely get back to this often Tuesday when I get back home. ❤️
Thank you, I am so happy being inspirational! I am greatly looking forward to seeing your post!
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Wow …love the images
Thank you! I had fun putting it together.
Wow and Wow and Wow…I couldn’t stop myself from wowing over every image! The orange blossoms, which I think are tulips, are just out of this world!!
Thank you, I am very glad you liked the post, and yes, those are tulips!