One fun thing I enjoy shooting from time to time is backlighting. It’s not that I don’t have the opportunity, just that I forget to take these kinds of shots even when they are right before my eyes. I especially enjoy photos of backlit flowers, but since we don’t really have any in our yard I like to keep my eyes open for situations like this and be ready when they arise. These flowers are just down the street from my house in the same field where my wife and I take our kids sledding in the winter, and each spring there is a patch of tulips and…um…other flowers that is fun to go look at. Two years ago I went down to this spot with my niece to help her understand some basic elements of exposure and depth of field, and sometimes it’s hard not to get a great shot when you have flowers like this. Still, it’s always worth trying to find a way of shooting familiar subjects in a bit more of a creative manner, and backlighting is a great tool to make that happen.
I shot this in the early evening on the first day of Spring, and while my wife was playing with our youngest son I asked our older son if he would want to bike down to this small field for some photos. He happily obliged, and we raced down the street to this spot where I quickly found myself on the ground and contorting myself in strange ways to get some photos. This was my favorite of the bunch for a couple of reasons. First of all, the backlighting. (Naturally.) The sun was just out of the top-right corner of the frame which gave these flowers a brilliant translucent glow, and I like how the five flowers display this to varying degrees. The foremost is almost transparent, and as you look farther back in the image you see others that are different degrees of opacity. It adds a three-dimensional feel to the image that I quite enjoy.
The one thing that really makes this image, though, is the tree branch arching over the top of the scene. That was most definitely intentional, though quite difficult to frame since I was working with the rear LCD screen on my Nikon D750 and it was not exactly easy to see with the bright light. Still, I am mostly satisfied with the way the tree feels like a protective arm covering the scene and telling the flowers Nothing bad’s going to happen to you. Not on my watch.
John G Hancock says
Nice shot. A classic example of framing your subject with elements, in this case a natural element, existing in the scent.
Thank you John! I appreciate the information about the name of the flower and the mythological origins of its name too :)
John G Hancock says
The flower is daffodil. Also known as jonquil or narcissus. They are related to the amaryllis. They are the flower that narcissus was turned to by the gods. If you know the legend. Narcissus was extremely vain and spent his days by a body of water admiring himself as he was reflected in the water. His punishment for his vanity was to be forever a flower by a body of water so he could do nothing but admire himself. Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the flower that can be found by searching any one of the three names they are known by
Yes the arching branch creates a impression of protection.
Thank you John! I’m glad you like the photo.