As I was returning to my car last evening, after visiting the wicked-looking Thorn Tree, the sun was hugging the horizon, sending that low golden light that you only get at sunset along the ground and highlighting the plants and grasses. Since I was still in the woods, the light was fading quickly; it would be dark in the woods before I left the lot, although there was about 20 minutes of decent light for shooting outside of the park. I was cold and hungry and my feet were wet from stepping in a creek. I had collapsed my tripod and turned off the camera. Having forgotten my gloves in the car, I had my hands tucked into the sleeves of my fleece jacket. Still, once I saw this plant on the edge of the trail I had to stop.
Intentionally backlighting subjects is not something that I have done before. I think that these were okay for an initial attempt. I love the way that the dried, white flower stalks have an orange glow. On a windy, cold day, when the air smelled like rain even though the rainclouds had not yet arrived, I would not have had the patience to wait for the sun’s angle on these winterdead plants. Happening upon them at just the right moment was serendipitous.
This morning, Light Stalking posted a link to a series of backlit photographs. These are far better than what I’ve done and have given me ideas for how I might compose other backlit shots in the future.
On a different note, take a look at how the photos on the Light Stalking page are credited. Title and Flickr user name is on each. I have a blogging friend who has been using a plug-in to find photos to illustrate her blog posts and we recently had a discussion about how to credit properly. Her plug-in provides the link to the photo on Flickr; hovering over the photo displays the photo’s title, but not the name of the photographer. (All are properly licensed via Creative Commons, so that is not the issue.) For those of you who have photographs in the public domain, how would you want your photographic credit to appear? Light stalking gives the Flickr username, rather than the photographer’s name even when that is available. I have mixed feelings on this. While citing that one of my pictures was created by SilleeShutterbugz2785 (that is NOT my real user name, btw) would be better than no attribution at all, if I have my work publicly available and my name is on the same site, I think that I would want that. On the other hand, I could make my username the same as my legal name so that was used, even though it is available on my profile.
I’m interested in what you think. Would it make a difference to you if you were being paid? What if the site using your photograph was generating income, though not directly from your image? Is linking to your photo, which gives a link to your name and information on your profile, what you would expect if someone used one of your photos from a photo sharing site?