Creating a backlit picture

Back lighting is a great way to reveal normally unseen detail in all sorts of subjects and it works well with any translucent item: thinly sliced fruit, dried leaves, glass or plastic.

For this experiment I decided to get some oranges, lemons, and limes, slice them up evenly and place them in a glass cooking lid. At first I tried this with the orange slices and they worked to a degree, but proved to be too thick skinned leaving a nasty dark ring around each slice.


The dish itself had a desk lamp on the floor facing upwards, and it was suspended with the handles resting on two dining chairs, I wrapped the disk in a sheet of tracing paper to act like a soft box to reduce the shine of the light. This step worked well in getting a good light level.

Once I scrapped the oranges I thought I’d move onto trying the lime as they have thinner skins, and were a more appropriate size. Along with this I had some green shower gel that I poured into the dish to rest the lime slices on. This worked incredibly well because the bubbles and details of the gel stood out because of how the lighting was set up. I then placed the lime slices on in a few different fashions and started to take the shots.

This is my favourite shot from the experiment because of all the bubbles which go on top of and around the slices while you are still able to see the veins inside the lime. One thing I have to point out is that if I had perhaps a stronger or multiple sources of light and perhaps not outside light breaking through the curtains it could have perhaps been more vibrant. That being said I believe a kiwi would work exceedingly better because it has thinner skin, brighter insides and a more noticeable pattern with it’s seeds too. Food for thought.

The aperture of the camera was set to the lowest it could go something around F4 with the ISO being at 100, shutter speed would have been fairly slow, with the shake being negated by the tripod the camera is mounted on.

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