Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Sunday 3 February 2013

Contre-jour - playing with the light fantastic

Wikipedia defines Contre-jour as -

Contre-jour, French for 'against daylight', refers to photographs taken when the camera is pointing directly toward a source of light. An alternative term is backlighting. The German term is "Gegenlicht". Contre-jour produces backlighting of the subject. 

This light can be natural sunlight, strobe lighting, simple home lighting or even a torch!

I must say I haven't used this technique a lot, especially with landscapes, but with the result below I think I will be looking for more opportunities to play around with this.

I have just joined the Photography Group of Bunbury and last Thursday was my first meeting. I know that there will be lots I can learn from other members. 
 Each month you can submit images for critique and competition. I was so excited on my first night to to win a "silver" award in the "open projected images" category for images taken between 16 December 2012 and 15 January 2013, with this image which I took just after sunrise over the Wilson Inlet waterfront in Denmark, Western Australia. I really loved the "sparkle stars" effect on the water - which were a result of photographing into the light.

Below are my before and after shots - 
The first one is an image I took  a couple of years ago.
I knew I could do better, and I had envisioned the image I wanted. So when we went back and stayed at the same place a couple of weeks ago, I took the second image. Unfortunately I really did get up a little later than I should have. This image is too blue for me. Although I did love the sparkle star effect over the water.
So to get that early morning glow look I applied some adjustments in Elements, and an effect called "Sparta" in Radlab.
If you have never used Radlab you should check it out on the net. Awesome quick adjustments. 
And there you have it! Do you think it is an improvement or do you prefer the before?

Here is another view of this same spot - stunning isn't it?

I haven't used photographing into the light a lot with landscapes, although silhouettes are the most common form of this technique.

I have used back-lighting often with my food photography in the afternoons in my east facing kitchen window - it adds another dimension -

With a little imagination there are other ways to play around with back-lighting. These were actually photographed on a projector plate - 

and flowers photographed in my light-box with the bulb directly behind the flower - I love the effect of the light shining through -
I am absolutly in love with the work of Warick Orme at Floranova

and how could I possibly go past this image of lavender in the golden late afternoon light - 

so as you can see, there are lots of ways to "photograph against the light".

Have you played around with photographing into the light? Why don't you give it a go. 

If you want a link to how to make a simple light box - go here - Strobist - making a light box
For some inspiring flora art light photography - go here - Floranova
Or learn more about photographing silhouettes - go here -  Digital Photography School - silhoutte

Enjoy! and have a wonderful week. I look forward to hearing from you, and value your comments. 
Isn't the net a great place to learn from others?

I am linking up with Mary and the other wonderful contributors at Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Please click on the link here to see and enjoy there work -  Mosaic Monday

You might also enjoy - please click on the links

Summer tomatoes
Umbrellas of sunshine 
Languid summer days  
Denmark and Walpole wilderness 


  1. Your food and flower photos are absolutely stunning, Jill. The lavender suggests so many stories to me :) I love what you're doing with Light Box and look forward to seeing more of your experiments with light in general. Going to try photographing more 'contre jour' myself, although I doubt if I'll match your wonderful pics. Isn't the Wilson Inlet a dreamy place - the light IS quite different there I think :)

  2. Such amazing shots! I enjoyed scrolling through them all!

  3. Oh gosh Jill I think I need a lot more practice. All of the photos were stunning. Valerie

  4. They are all so beautiful. I'd love to sit on that wharf at sunrise.

  5. Wow! Fantastic photography ~ wonderful variety ~

    Carol of: (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  6. I've enjoyed visiting your blog again and seeing such wonderful photography. Have a good week!

  7. Jill, I always enjoy your photography. Your photos are all gorgeous. I would love to take a photography class or join a group, sounds like fun! Thanks for the visit and comment and have a happy week ahead!

  8. Wow, wonderful photographs. Am,azing work. I love your shots with the bridge in the light. But your photos of the fruits and flowers also adorable. Great work ! Thanks for stopping by and your comments. I translate now my posts. :-)
    Best regards, Synnöve

  9. Wow, these are simply amazing Jill! I learned a lot from this post. Truthfully, I just shoot what catches my eye and edit just a little over at PicMonkey. I will check out the site you suggested and think about the light next time.

  10. Gorgeous photos. I like all the iterations of the dock, especially the first one. I loaned my light box to my daughter, but it might be time to get it back so I can take backlit photos like yours. Really stunning. Thanks for all the tips.

  11. Jill, these are amazing photos. I love the look of back lit objects - and you do it so well. Have a great day!

  12. Your photogrpahs are amazing, Jill! It is obvious you take them with much care and consideration. Happy Mosaic Monday!

  13. I love the sun bright on the water! It makes me happy! I could sit on that dock for hours looking out at the water! Beautiful!

  14. Jill, all your pictures are just lovely -- that top one definitely deserves a prize!!! As a digital photographer whose pictures totally depend on being in the right place at the right time I am in total awe of you for learning as much as you are learning about the skill of photography. I will visit your lovely blog often to see if I can pick up a thing or two. Thank you for teaching in such a beautiful way!!!!

  15. Jill, you are such a gifted photographer and I really so much enjoy coming to your blog, as oft as I can. From the opening scenes, to the gorgeous macros, all superbly done, I am in awe of the beauty. Happy day to you~

  16. Jill, I am so happy to meet you and your photography. To say your work is stunning is understated! I love the photos of the pier, what a difference your editing made. I really love the sparkle on the water. I also love the photos in the light box, amazing. Thanks for sharing, I will tour your blog. I'm sure there is a wealth of information and beauty.

    The French Hutch

  17. Hi Jill, Thank you for offering up such an lovely blog. I am amazed and enamored with photographers such as you. My quest this year is to learn as much as I can about the subject, I adore photography although I am blushing as I make this post, admitting I am very very VERY ameture.

  18. Wow Jill, these photos are AMAZING!!! I'm so impressed with your skills as a photographer. I've never tried photographing into the light, but now you have me interested; I'll have to read more about it. I also love the sparkle effects on the water; that was what really caught my eye. Your food photography is so artistic!

    Thank you for visiting me from Mosaic Mondays, and I hope you have a wonderful week!


  19. thank you all my lovely readers for your very kind comments and for connecting. I am glad you enjoyed my post. It was lovely to hear from you all. The first image has about to be printed on the "back page" of an upcoming issue of RRR Network News - for Remote, Rural & Regional Women in WA. I'll blog it when it is in print! Have a wonderful week.