Using Back Lighting to Enhance Your Subject

Often, when out capturing images, I am looking for my subject to be lit from the front or for more dramatic exposure, from the side. But there are times when a subject catches my eye simply because they are lit differently, for example from the back. Shooting directly into light can be challenging, but the results can also be interesting. Most people think of using back lighting to silhouette the subject. Here are a couple of examples silhouetted subjects: 

Silhouetting works well for architecture and people, but really could be used with any subject. 

Although creating silhouettes is the most common use of back lighting, it isn’t the only use. Back lighting can also be used to further enhance an image that also exposes the features of the subject, such as in the following images: 



In these images, the details and “features” of the subjects are clearly seen, but the subject themselves are emphasized by bright background light. 

Do you have images that are light from behind? Have you tried capturing silhouettes? Next time you are out and about capturing images, if the opportunity presents itself, try this technique out and see what you can create! 


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