Putting the Early Morning Sun to Work

Posted: June 5, 2017 in Uncategorized
Let talk about backlighting today. Here is the patch of Skunk Cabbage that I’m working. In another few weeks when these plants are full grown you won’t be able to see the ground. They grow in swampy and river bottom areas, and you can see a little bit of the swamps water in the background of this image. You can see the low angle sun touching some of the plants.
I walk towards the sun studying the leaves with the best looking backlighting.
The sun needs to be at a low angle to get the backlighting on the leaves. Processing was done first with the Solarization filter in Nik Color Efex Pro, and then some fine tuning in Nik Viveza 2.

The more deeply furrowed the leaf is the more highlights and shadows you get. I shot this at f/32 for full depth of field. Here is a horizontal version.

This is a Mayapple leave and they typically are not at an angle that catches the sun for backlighting, but this one had the right tilt that offered this view.
Backlighting really makes the veins pop in these leaves, so give it a try next time you’re out in the early morning or late evening sunlight.


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  1. mnelson3 says:

    Hi Mike,

    curious if you have found a replacement for Viveza, now that Google is no longer supporting it? thanks Mike

    • Mike Moats says:

      It hasn’t gone away, still available for download. They may not update it but I will always have it.

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