Meet "Henny-Penny," the pet hen of friends. View On Black
There are two main ways to achieve backlighting. The first is to move the camera to a position between the subject and the sun and the second is to move the subject to the appropriate position. This shot was taken using the second method: I stood just inside the open doorway of the house and my friend held his pet hen just outside the doorway so that the rays of the late afternoon sun streamed through her fleshy 'comb' - hence the need for a close-up shot to avoid any fingers. The directional light also provided rim-lighting for the edge of her beak and especially the rim of her comb. The photo was aided by the glass panels of the door bouncing some light back in the opposite direction and therefore preventing a silhouetted image by lighting the near-side of her face and providing attractive catchlights in her eye. Flash was not used as it would have counteracted the effect of the directional light. The danger with all backlit shots is direct sunlight entering the lens of the camera and producing lens-flare, so using a lens hood or simply shading the lens with your hand is important. Thanks to friends Andy and Linda Shepherd for help in providing the subject and holding her still in just the right position for this portrait. Thanks also for your company and hospitality. Photo taken18/04/09 at their home in the Charente, France.