Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

January 7, 2010


Filed under: Boyce Thompson Arboretum, favorite places, light — richditch @ 10:37 am
Backlit Tree at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Backlit Tree at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

One of my favorite (non bird) subjects is backlit foliage. This can be small scale (like a single flower) or larger scale (like this stand of trees).

Fortunately I had my “point and shoot” D70 and light weight 55-200 lens along for the long hike with my D200, 300/2.8, TC20E, and tripod at Boyce Thompson Arboretum on January 2, 2010 when I was looking for birds to photograph. It permitted me to find a good short focal length (130mm) for this composition on a backlit stand of trees off the main trail.

Backlight gives foliage a “glow” that makes it a strong center of interest in any image, and the glow effect can be heightened by a darker surrounding. Here the shadowed side of a cliff makes an ideal background, while the shadowed rocks in the foreground provide some natural framing and provide more depth to the image.

I could have probably found a little stronger compostion than this full frame shown here if I’d had enough energy to explore this view a bit more. I could have ensured maximum image quality if I’d taken the big rig off the tripod and put the tiny lens on instead; a tripod not only eliminates camer motion but also allows more time to evaluate the compostion in the viewfinder. If I get back soon I’ll try to do those basic things.

Nikon D70, Nkon 55-200 lens at 130mm, ISO 200, 1/250th second at f/8.



  1. I think I have almost this exact image; I love that spot. Really nice glow on the leaves.

    Comment by Kimberly Hosey — January 7, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  2. I have to admit to also trying to capture this same spot last Thursday. I only had my Canon SD1000 point and shoot and the sun had nearly set behind Pancho Plateau. You definitely nailed the timing. Nice shot.

    Comment by Kim Stone — January 17, 2010 @ 11:45 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: