01 July 2016

Region: London

In his July Blog, Robert Canis's advises us on "contre-jour" lighting techniques.

French for “against daylight,” contre-jour lighting is a wonderful technique to employ to really make your images stand out. Most effective in the morning or evening when the sun is at its lowest, those subjects which you would pass by at other times of the day, really start to come alive. Textures reveal themselves as does the translucency of, say, a leaf or petal. A heron, standing motionless, can look rather uninspiring in soft or frontal light but when set against a dark background with the sun producing a rim-light, it transforms it into something really quite special. As you walk, do so heading into the sun and stop every so often to survey the area for possible images. Crouch down and investigate those subjects close to ground level. You can’t pre-visualise a photograph while looking down upon it! One of the biggest issues you will face when shooting into the light is avoiding sunlight hitting the front element of your lens which causes image softness and coloured ‘spots’ known as flare. To avoid this, either shield the front of your lens with your hand or, better, still, position yourself in the shadow of a tree. Alternatively, don’t worry about flare at all. In fact, embrace it for it can produce a soft, golden ethereal glow to your images.


Image © Robert Canis