I confess to a weakness for backlit photos, as I just feel that backlighting, or at least light that is coming obliquely from behind, really brings out something mystical and magical about the subjects. This weekend we were blessed with the most fantastic light for photography, with the autumn light coming in at a low angle and making the insects and plants shine in a way that it does not during the high summer.
I set out deciding to focus on this light and took some photos around our woods. There has been something of a late summer revival in the weather, and it was very warm, with late speckled wood butterflies, large whites, brimstones and common blues on the wing, as well as emperor dragonflies, southern hawkers, common hawkers, brown hawkers and lots of common darters still basking and hunting around our meadows and ponds.
One particularly special moment came while I was photographing a lovely little spider, and a common darter dragonfly actually came down and landed on my hand. I managed to move my hand and take one picture before it flew away.
Backlighting is special, although you need to make some adjustments to exposure or you end up with a silhouette – I use the exposure compensation setting to over-expose the pictures relative to the metred value, keeping the camera in aperture-priority mode to give me control of depth of field. Sometimes you need to over-expose by more than you think!
Autumn is very fast approaching, but for the moment, there is still the opportunity to take some summery photos, and I was grateful for the light at the weekend to help me capture these backlit images.