Photo Challenge Week 7 Recap: Backlight

I’ve been traveling in South America for the past few weeks with only limited (and incredibly slow) Internet access, so my sincere apologies for not being able to complete the recap for the Week 7 assignment on time. There were a lot of really amazing photos to go through, but here are a few that caught my eye. As always, I’m looking for creative interpretations of the assignment, and examples of the photographer pushing artistic boundaries to make compelling photographs.

This week’s best shots

Jim Alice Johnson submitted this lovely photo of a butterfly at sunrise. I love the curving repeating shapes formed by the dropping grasses and the soft light. Here, the backlighting is very subtle, but it gives the composition a hint of magic. I love it!

I really like how Jeanie McSwain Hardey used backlighting to creatively display a rather familiar and mundane subject. The wires glisten in the soft backlighting, setting them off against the dark stormy sky in the background. I really like the complexity of the composition.‎

Kathy Detrie took this beautiful photo of the undulating ridges of the Great Smoky Mountains. Overall, this has a very moody and tranquil feel. By shooting into the light, she creates a lovely complementary color scheme, effectively juxtaposing warm and cool.

I really like how Robert Lapointe put the sun behind the dandelion head for this photo—it really pops out to the eye! Backlighting can be a great tool for emphasizing your subject.

Dawn LaPointe (no relation?) shot into the sun to make this creative portrait of her dog while canoeing. The second canoe in the background is the icing on the cake. The dog’s line of sight, pointing to the distant canoer, ties the composition together nicely.

Finally, Robin Riesland took this nice photo of an old plow. The warm tones help create a nostalgic feel, and the chaotic silhouette adds compositional interest and stimulates the viewer’s curiosity.

Thank you everyone for participating, and sharing your wonderful photos. Good luck with the next assignment!

If you haven’t signed up yet for the Photo Challenge, you can do so here. We’re nearing the end of the challenge but you can still go back and check out the previous weeks’ assignments. Make sure to check out the Facebook group too where you can see even more photos from this week’s assignment.


About the author: World-renowned professional photographer and Tamron Image Master Ian Plant is a frequent contributor to several leading photo magazines and the author of numerous books and instructional videos. You can see more of Ian’s work at

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