Backlit Flowers
at Saddle Rock
August 2003


Backlighting is the bane of the typical photograph: sending features into deep shadow, obscuring everything one hoped to capture. However, with a little luck and planning, a backlit photo displays both detail and drama.

The thumbnails that follow link into their larger version which averages between 35 and 70K.

Click for larger version

Roses of Sharon are absolutely beautiful and a joy to photograph, and on a bright day offer many different opportunities. There are two Rose of Sharon trees (or bushes?) at Saddle Rock, one pink-red and the other white. The reddish ones are ideal for backlighting, although in this first one the backlighting is somewhat minor, with the sun off to my left.
Click for larger version

The second Rose of Sharon was much higher up, requiring a full zoom, but the resulting color range varies from black to sheer transparency.
Click for larger version

Sue coined the name "satellite flower" for these blooms, which are well over a foot (25 cm) in diameter. Although photographing these perennials for a few years, I've noticed for the first time that the stamen are exactly the same as that of a hibiscus, so I presume that they're related.

The red ones are well suited for backlighting, turning their deep reds into brilliant crimsons. The details of the flower petals glow through the sunlight.

Click for larger version

The final image is also a perennial hibiscus (if that is its proper name), which was in the process of opening. I cropped the photo to a portion of a few of the petals, since the detail through sunlight is incredible but lost if the picture is reduced. The petal veins remind me of the fine lines in a bird feather macro.
Photography note: The photos were taken with a Sony F707 during August 2003 at Saddle Rock.  

Dewdrop worlds   |   Colorful damsels

Look Out!   |   Contact