How to Improve Your

Scenic Images

by William Lulow

When you are out taking snapshots or recording your travels, one good way to improve your photographs is to arrange for them to be lit from behind. I’ve written about how to do this before. The best way is to find a subject that is basically photogenic and then place the camera so that the sun (or other light source) is behind the subject so that the light it produces is basically a “back light.” This will, automatically, give your subject a kind of glow. You need to keep your camera’s lens shaded so that you avoid lens flare. Your subject also may need to have a “fill in” light in order to lighten the shadow areas. It may need you to use a “forced flash” fill-in from the camera position. Or, you may need to lighten the exposure sufficiently to record shadow detail. This may require you to think a little bit and take your camera off its “auto” mode and shoot manually.


This image was made from the shade of a tree next to the scene. Light was coming mostly from the back which gives the grasses a kind of highlight.