Friday, October 02, 2009

The beauty of back lighting

First, an announcement: this is NOT a post about the arrival of autumn, despite all those brilliant colors. But, the fact is that autumn leaves are excellent examples of just how back lighting enhances subjects that are translucent or transparent.

Two good examples: the maple (above) and the aspen (below). Very simple: the light passing through the leaves emphasizes the color.

In this case, back lighting creates a splash of brilliant red in between much darker greens. The red of the leaves below contrasts with the drab leaves on the ground which are lit with reflected light.

Last year, I became fascinated by the nasturtium. Here are two portraits of a single flower, dark against the bright outdoors (above) and brilliantly back lit (below). In truth, I find it difficult to choose between the treatments. How about you? Which do you prefer, hot or dark?

Virginia creeper, one of this town's major autumn showpieces, goes from drab (above) to brilliant red (below), depending upon the direction of the light. It really needs that sunlight streaming through the leaves.

Even if the creeper has not turned deep red, back lighting hypes the color (above, below).

What greens! Classic ivy glows given the right lighting -- as do the big leaves below.

Ditto for colored glass, whether it's an alien blue sun or colorful, collectible tableware at a McCormick Street antiquery.

Perhaps my most favorite use of transmitted light is the yard ornamentation I found along Gail Gardner one day. The home owner had simply filled big juice bottles with colored water and let the sun do the rest.

Links for the Day: Have you ever had a chance to study the underside of a hummingbird? Boonie caught a fascinating view from beneath; the little guys' tails make them look sorta like shrimp! The current fad for home grown eggs caught the attention of s. weasel, who comments about diapers being sold so that one's beloved family hen can roam the house. Plus: one of our bloggers, Sadira of Foolsewoode, was featured in this article in today's Courier.


Lucy said...

Oh, back lighting's my favourite every time! Lovely nasturtium. I think your light there must be pretty strong, so back lighting probably gives you more detail and relief...

Avus said...

Lovely autumnal pictures, Granny

Warren said...

I really like your 12th photo down, the backlit green leaves with the house window in the background. Nice!

Anonymous said...

Glad you brought the subject of transmitted light to my attention. It makes sense that transmitted light brings out color contrast, since the transmission goes down exponentially with thickness, and the exponential is an extreme mathematical function.

Granny J said...

Lucy -- our sunlight is very, very bright -- 1) humidity usually below 20%; 2) elevation means less atmosphere between us & it. Landscape pix can be very trying, as the contrast is often so harsh. But it doe penetrate to make great back lighting.

avus -- probably better autumn pictures than we'll get this year of little rain...

warren -- thank you kindly...

boonie -- fine as an explanation of the contrast, but the brilliance of the actual color is due to the object merely acting as a colored filter of the sun or other light. Right?

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