Fox-like dog sitting in park with backlight sunshine on fur

Pet Photography 52 Weeks Project – Week 32 – Backlight

Welcome to Week 32 of the Pet Photography 52 Weeks Project.  This week’s theme is “Backlight” … using backlight in photography to shine a light on your angelic dog.

Shiny angelic dogs

So what exactly is backlight?  Backlight happens when I place the dog in front of me, so I am facing the light, with the light coming in behind the dog which in turn illuminates their coat in the most magical and angelic way. It can be technically tricky, and very much depends on the time and location. As the photographer, I need to ensure that I adjust my exposure so as to not lose detail in the shadows on the dog’s face, but also being careful not to blow out the highlights too much in the rim light around the dog. With a few adjustments in the editing process the image can be transformed into a stunning portrait.

Here is an example of backlighting with sunshine.

Fox-like dog sitting in park with backlight sunshine on fur

Milo the Pomeranian/Spitz mix dog enjoying the warm sunshine on his back during his photo session

Backlight can also be created using artificial lighting as we used in this photo of Lexi in Arrowtown, New Zealand earlier this year at Barkzealand. A simple speedlight was placed behind Lexi which resulted in a stunning burst of backlight which also highlighted the soft rain that was falling.

Duck Tolling Retriever Dog backlit in the rain-Arrowtown New Zealand

Lexi the Duck Tolling Retriever dog rocking it in the rain in Arrowtown … backlit with a speedlight


Thank you for reading!  Head on over to check out Pawtraits by Nicole pet photography serving Las Vegas, Nevada. for Nicole’s take on this topic. Continue clicking the link at the bottom of each post until you end up right back here.

Want to learn more about a Jo Lyons Photography experience with your dog? Learn more here.

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  1. Jessica on 9 August, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    OK, I am officially obsessed with that rain shot! That’s what makes me want to attend a Barka workshop so badly!

  2. Tracy Allard on 10 August, 2019 at 12:19 am

    Wonderful backlighting and love the Toller in the rain – it’s a terrific image and well executed!

  3. LIsa Browning on 14 August, 2019 at 7:41 am

    What a neat shot of that toller! I love both portraits you featured here!

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