Airplane Pictures home

Home » Forums » Aviation photography » Is \"backlit\" a general rejection reason?

Is \"backlit\" a general rejection reason?

Dmitry Yakovlev 
Joined in April 2013
Posts: 17
Posted 19 April 2017 - 13:45 CET

First of all, I know that, in general, taking 'backlit' photos is kind of "against the rules" in photography, probably except all those silhouettes against a sunset/sunrise sky background. Recently I tried my luck with uploading a 'backlit' photo which looked somewhat interesting for me (even probably more interesting than 'properly illuminated' photos of the same a/c which I do also have), mostly to find out if the "creative" in "creative aviation photography" goes beyond the rule of always taking photos from the 'bright' side in broad daylight, insofar as the 'backlight' does not kill the 'watchability' of the photo. Now that's what I got:

Main object is improperly lit.

Now I wonder if that means that 'backlit' in its capacity as such in a daylight situation like this is _always_ a 'no go' at or whether the reason lies in some particular flaws of the picture (e.g. wing leading edges being too bright).

Matt Reynolds 

Full member
Joined in December 2015
Posts: 30
Posted 19 April 2017 - 16:12 CET

Backlit is fine if used properly...but this is just over exposed and not in a creative way. Using a backlit situation means you have to use the shadows and highlights to your advantage, most of the time this will work on a dark or shiny fuselage, not very often on a matt paint like this.

Nice capture though!

Alexander Babashov 

Full member
Joined in June 2012
Posts: 20
Posted 21 April 2017 - 02:25 CET

Dima, this 'backlit' is not "creative". imho

Dmitry Yakovlev 
Joined in April 2013
Posts: 17
Posted 24 April 2017 - 14:49 CET

> not in a creative way

> this 'backlit' is not "creative"

With all due respect, I do not agree, but this is just my own opinion.

But what could be an example of "creative" backlit, in your opinion?

Piotr Bieluszewski 

Joined in June 2008
Posts: 84
Posted 24 April 2017 - 15:19 CET


Manuel Domínguez 

Full member
Joined in March 2014
Posts: 40
Posted 24 April 2017 - 19:13 CET

Dmitry, to me, the main problem in your picture is that it is blurred and there is too much digital noise because you lifted the shadows too much. Besides, the black areas under the wing are quite odd, because the black colour should be more uniform...

If the screener just said "Main object is improperly lit", someone was not caring too much about his "job" and picked the first sentence of the list, because the backlit reason is the most neglectable problem in the photo.

About the creativity, your picture is not creative to me, it is just a side view of the aircraft. Anyway, we can see "not creative" backlits accepted every day, and every person in this thread (Matt, Alexander, Piotr and of course me) have that kind of pictures in our galleries. I bet that the screener that rejected your picture has some examples as well. Just another reason to say that the backlit should not be the main reason to reject your picture.


Dmitry Yakovlev 
Joined in April 2013
Posts: 17
Posted 25 April 2017 - 12:51 CET

Dear Piotr and Manuel, thank you for your opinions.

Actually, when I started this topic, I noted that I am not taking into consideration all those silhouettes against dusk/dawn/sun/moon background, which appear to be a separate 'genre' imho.

In the meantime, I found this example:

or this one:

and one of my own:

All of them make me think that 'backlit' per se is not the reason for the photo to be rejected, insofar as it does not kill the quality/'watchability' of the photo.

But I am still at a loss over what to understand as 'creative'/'non-creative'.

Is 'side view' per se 'non-creative'? Or is 'backlit'? I disagree.

I think that only viewing the picture as a whole and not mentally 'disassembling' it into stereotypic categories may give us an answer.

The reason why I wanted to go ahead with the picture, with which I started this topic, and not to discard it in favour of more 'properly illuminated' pictures of the same a/c from the same day, was that it seemed to promise a specific (somewhat interesting) visual impression from the 'darker' side of the aircraft and the landscape behind it, which would be otherwise rather usual and even boring if viewed from the 'properly illuminated' side in such lighting conditions (nothing looks more boring than the colour of all that dry last year's grass on a sunny afternoon in April, in my opinion).

Probably, it was just my impression. Or I did not succeed in bringing it out.

Jump to the top

Log in to post in the forum.

Terms and Conditions | About | FAQ | Photo Use | Privacy Policy | Online 1820 (83 members)
© 2006-2017 | E-mail us:
All photos are copyright © to their respective photographers and may not be used without permission.