Thursday Tips, or Photography According To Lauren: Backlighting & Sunstars

It’s been so nice and sunny lately that I thought I might talk a little bit more about light. One way to spice up your pictures and add a bit of drama is to use backlighting. Backlighting is when the your light source is behind your subject rather than in front of it. Backlighting can create a lovely light halo around your subject & it can also make for nice long shadows. 

If your subject is a bit more transparent, backlighting can set it aglow. I love to capture backlit transparent subjects against a dark background. The resulting contrast makes the subject pop out that much more.

Finally when you have backlighting you can create sunstars. Creating sunstars is actually really easy. First you need the sun to be at an angle on the horizon instead of directly overhead. Second you need something that can partially obstruct the sun, like the building does in this picture. Finally you need to crank up you aperture. I can usually get a pretty sweet looking sunstar at f/13 or higher (f/16, f/22, ect). That’s it!  You can now go around creating sunstars to your heart’s content.

Hopefully all of you have as much lovely sunshine as we’re getting up here in Aberdeen to go out and play around with.

So, links:

Lens blog has been on fire this week. I loved this photo story about Zeppelins in the olden days. Amelia & Animals is so adorable, & I thought this photo story from Afganistan was really interesting.

These pictures from Syria really made the conflict there hit home somehow. I’m so sad that so many people on this planet are living in war zones right now. I can’t imagine it, and I wish that we could take war off of the table.

Hello old school Bob Dylan.

These pictures made me think on Zoë & her upcoming trip to Japan.

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  1. Posted March 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I never knew they were called sunstars… that’s so pretty (and such an accurate description too!) Thanks for the link too – those pictures are so sad and gorgeous at the same time (very glad they gave back as many as they could.) x

  2. Posted March 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I hope to use these tips and make better use of light – I struggle with how best to use it but do at least know natural light is best in pretty much all cases. Sunstars though, interesting.