Lens-Artists Challenge #247 – Backlit

Bryce Canyon, light, hoodoos
Spotlight on Bryce

“It is the experience of the struggle that backlights the moments of wonder”

Craig D. Lounsbrough

This week Ann-Christine has offered us some amazing examples of backlighting along with a challenge to feature some of our own. I’ve opened with an example from our visit to the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. I’ve spoken before about the incredible experience we had after outwaiting a violent thunderstorm. It was followed by an ethereal light made even more beautiful by the fact that all of the other visitors had left the scene!

Also from travels out west, the image below was made during a superbloom we were fortunate to catch while visiting Arizona. It seems cacti are one of the best subjects for showcasing the beauty of backlighting.

desert, cacti, superbloom, flowers
Blooming Desert

“The world of human affairs has long been a shadowy place, but always backlit by the light of hope.”

Carl Safina

As Ann-Christine has beautifully shown, flowers offer an excellent opportunity for featuring the influence of backlighting. Two examples, followthe first from a visit to Michigan and the second from nearby Magnolia Gardens.

pink, backlit, flowers, pink
Fading Michigan Beauties
Iris, backlit, sunspots
Close To Home, Magnolia Gardens

“Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky.”

Charles Wright

Also from nearby environs and frequently showcased, the gorgeous live oak trees of South Carolina’s lowcountry, dripping with backlit Spanish Moss at sunrise.

life oak, sunrise, backlit, light
Live Oaks, Lowcountry South Carolina

“Real life is – quieter, more understated. No one is backlit and nothing has a soundtrack.”

Matthew Crow

Next, from far away places, a beautiful wind chime which we should have purchased but didn’t. The beauty of photography is it reminds us of the marvelous things, both large and small, that we’ve seen along the way.

wind chimes, backlit
Whimsical Wind Chimes

“Grass was frosted white, rhododendron leaves curled tight, winter bare trees backlit by the moon.”

Patricia Cornwell

Also from our travels, a beautiful window reflecting on the dark tiles beneath it thanks to the light shining through from behind.

stained glass, church, colorful
Wonderful Windows, Israel

“…the stained glass window a blurred kaleidoscope backlit in the morning sun.”

Red Tash

And finally, two personal favorites from our travels in Southeast Asia. On the left, a young girl about to play her instrument of chimes, on the right a lovely woman showing the classic halo of backlighting from a window above and behind her.

Young, girls, backlit
Lovely Ladies, Southeast Asia

“Let’s jump ahead to the moment of epiphany, in gold light, as the camera pans to where the action is.”

Richard Siken

Sincere thanks to Ann-Christine for her challenge – always good to remind ourselves of some of photography’s most effective techniques. Be sure to visit her beautiful post here and to use the lens-artists tag in your responses. Thanks also to Patty for last week’s “expanded” definition of Still Life and the many interpretations it allowed. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week when Sofia will lead us with her challenge “Mood”. Until then, as always please stay safe, be kind and enjoy the journey.

Interested in joining the Lens-Artists challenge? Click here for more information.


89 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #247 – Backlit

  1. I liked your Bryce Canyon photo, Tina. Bryce is one of my favorite places I’ve been to for photos. Also liked the cactus, a great subject for backlighting.

  2. Tina, you have so many lovely pictures to share from your travels. Always fun to read about your adventures and see what you saw through your camera lens! This post is no exception, I really like the picture taken in Bryce Canyon and, of course, your flower images!😊

  3. Beautiful series, Tina. Your first two photos are awesome – I’ve yet to see the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, but on my list as Utah is another one of those magical places. The second shot is my favorite, and seeing this, I think backlighting on a cactus may be the most beautiful of all photos because the reflection off the needles and the general landscape surrounding a cactus has a warm feeling… I should also add your portrait shot at the end is an excellent example of how dramatic backlighting can make a portrait; it is as if it was taken from a glamour magazine 🙂 Wishing you a great Friday and coming weekend!

    • LOL, I will add the portrait to me resume should I ever decide to go pro Randall! Seriously though, thank you for that lovely comment and YES definitely do Bryce, it’s incredible – and has some really nice hikes too. Enjoy your weekend as well.

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  5. Top selection as usual, Tina. But, when I saw your cactus image, I knew at once, which image I forgot in my selection 😁 No, not a cactus, but the setting sun refracted by gazillions of twigs encased by ice.

  6. Always love your posts involving light techniques and approaches! Always crazy about the oaks with the moss that looks like it is battery operated lighting!

  7. Fantastic examples, especially those cacti among the super bloom, the white irises, beautiful stained glass (I love the reflections on the floor) and the girl with the backlit hair!

  8. Such beautiful examples this week, Tina. I lingered over your Header, and Bryce Canyon, but then those cone flowers knocked my socks off. And how lovely are those wind chimes, and the reflections on the floor from the stained glass? Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.

  9. I think Bryce invented backlit! Always a great place to get a chair and wait for the show. Nice the storm chased everyone away. Silently I pray for that sometimes. When we lived in SC I fell in love with the Spanish Moss. I had never seen it before and thought it was beautiful. The morning light…fantastic. The sunlit hair is my favorite. Angelic, and reminds me of my granddaughter.

  10. That cactus shot could have been taken by me and I’m not sure it wasn’t. 🙂 Cacti are perfect for backlighting because all their devilish little/large spines show clearly. Sometimes backlighting makes them look deceptively fuzzy, as in the case of teddy bear cholla. I really like the magnolia shot and greatly enjoy your two photos of the women.

    • LOL, you probably have the same cactus somewhere in your archives Janet! They do indeed look beautiful before they stick you with their deadly needles!!! Thanks for the lovely comment.

  11. Backlighting creates such an aura. It comes out easily with the cactus, but especially in that woman’s hair. What an effect. It takes a talent to capture the Magnolia Garden the way you did.

  12. You have mastered the art of backlighting in so many photography genres, Tina! The ladies are lovely, but of course, I wowed over your shot of Bryce! Nice to see it 🙂 I love how flowers/nature create such a perfect subject for backlighting–yours are stunning!

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  14. As a ‘’non-photographer’’ I am always stunned at the various elements that go into picture taking. The photos in this blog surely demonstrate the effect of backlighting. And, as usual, your terrific annotations add to the enjoyment of viewing the photos. Well done T!!!

  15. Love these Tina…truly r all very different examples of background light. Fading Michigan beauties just jumps out at me!! I also love the gals…always a great eye!!!

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