Contre-jour

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Contre-jour photograph taken directly into the setting sun resulting in the loss of subject detail and colour
Contre-jour photo taken directly against the setting sun causing loss of subject detail and colour, and emphasis of shapes and lines. Medium: Colour digital image.
Contre-jour emphasizes the outline of the man and the tunnel entrance
Contre-jour emphasizes the outline of the man and the tunnel entrance. The ground reflections show the position of the man. Medium: Digital scan from B&W paper print.

Contre-jour (French for "against daylight") is a photographic technique in which the camera is pointing directly toward a source of light.

Contre-jour produces backlighting of the subject. This effect usually hides details, causes a stronger contrast between light and dark, creates silhouettes and emphasizes lines and shapes. The sun, or other light source, is often seen as either a bright spot or as a strong glare behind the subject.[1] Fill light may be used to illuminate the side of the subject facing toward the camera. Silhouetting occurs when there is a lighting ratio of 16:1 or more; at lower ratios such as 8:1 the result is instead called low-key lighting.[citation needed]

low-key lighting effect for the Sun behind a gull in flight.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Freeman, Michael (2007) The Complete Guide to Light & Lighting in Digital Photography. ILEX, London: Lark Books. pp. 74&75. ISBN 978-1-57990-885-0.