Back Light

Back lighting is a very dramatic type of light, particularly when it's strong.

Usually a very strong backlight is best for creating a silhouette. This is acomplished by setting the exposure for the background and letting the subject underexpose. It doesn't matter if the light is natural or artifical.

 
image by FailedImitator  

image by dydcheung

It can be used to create star effects and lens flare by allowing the light ot enter directly into the lens. The points of light is achieved by using a small aperture.

Or if the light is less direct you can achieve the washed out "dreamy" effect. A wide aperture setting makes this easier to achieve.


image by jaredeberhardt

 

As always 

If the lighting ratio is too strong then you will need to add fill light to the shadows. The fill light can be added with the use of on camera flash (with the power turned down), even the pop-up flash on the camera. Fill light can be added with off camera flash, or with a bounce panel. A bounce panel can be any reflective surface.
I highly recommend every photographer have some type of bounce panel in their kit. It can be anything from a piece of poster-board, a white foam-core panel, or one of those sunlight reflectors for car windshields. For the price, I think these 5-in-1 panels are indispensable. A reflector stand is also useful if you don't have someone to hold it for you.

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