“Shoot with the sun coming from over your shoulder” was probably the first bit of advice I was given when I started taking photographs way back in the days of Kodachrome – that’s film, just in case you’re wondering. In some respects it was sound advice but front-lit landscape images have never been the most exciting and the general ‘rule’ is to make use of side-lighting to reveal shape and form through the formation of shadows in order to give the picture a sense of depth.
There is an alternative, however, and that is to shoot into the light. Contre jour lighting, as it is often referred to, creates dramatic backlighting, casting shadows towards the camera and emphasizing shapes and lines as well as highlighting semi-translucent foliage and other features.
When we talk about shooting into the light we tend to think of strong directional light that creates deep shadows and bright highlights with the resulting picture being of high contrast. And whilst this kind of lighting can be very effective, it’s not the only effect that can be achieved using this technique. There are many ways to shoot towards the light, yet still retain good detail in all parts of the picture and create a more subtle effect with low contrast. It’s all about how light is managed as well as choosing the optimal time or weather conditions in which to take the photograph.
It is true that there are a few pitfalls you will want to try to control when shooting into the light and one of these is certainly the issue of...[vision_notification style="tip" font_size="20px"]Read the whole article inside issue 68.[/vision_notification]