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Use back lighting of your subjects for maximum impact

| May 24, 2010 | 0 Comments
Back lighting is an interesting, although sometimes counter-intuitive technique for shooting photos. Back-lit subjects can produce very interest photos. This is more often than not case in flower and macro photography.

Back lighting example - leaf

Back lighting example - leaf

If you like shooting flowers and other plants, the most interesting way for them to come to life is to place a light source behind them. If you consider the leaf photo to the left, you will notice that the light illuminates the leaf from behind, revealing almost fractal-like structure of the leave’s veins, which in turn, makes the shot.
This works also particularly well with flowers, since flowers pack more color, and back-lighting them can expose something that you as a photographer might not have noticed.
So our tip for the week is:

“Use back lighting of your subjects for maximum impact”

In case you were interested how the leaf photo above was produced, here are some guidelines. The photo below, illustrates the set-up. I have used Pentax K-7 with 50mm f/2.8 macro lens, set to f/4.0 for maximum sharpness with still shallow depth of field, and manual focus. I have also used live-view for composing the shot, and micro-managing focus. The camera was set on the tripod and I was taking the shot using remote release with enabled mirror lock-up function, as illustrated in the tips for taking tack sharp photos.

Using back lighting on a flower leaf

Using back lighting on a flower leaf

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Category: Beginners Photography, Macro Photography, Photography Tips

About the Author (Author Profile)

Alan Graf is the editor and founder of Digital Photography Student. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and is also editor of – a Croatian wallpaper archive, and his own photo gallery at

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