contre-jour

photographic technique

Contre-jour photograph taken directly into the setting sun resulting in the loss of subject detail and colour
Contre-jour photo taken directly against the setting sun causing loss of subject detail and colour, and emphasis of shapes and lines. Medium: Colour digital image.
Contre-jour emphasizes the outline of the man and the tunnel entrance
Contre-jour emphasizes the outline of the man and the tunnel entrance. The ground reflections show the position of the man. Medium: Digital scan from B&W paper print.

Contre-jour (French for "against daylight") is a photographic technique in which the camera is pointing directly toward a source of light and an equivalent technique of painting. It was also used in paintings prior to its use in photography, where the shadows would fall to the left on the left, to the right on the right and forward in the lower centre. The edges of the subject would show surprising colour effects.

Contre-jour produces backlighting of the subject. This effects usually hides details, causes a stronger contrast between light and dark, creates silhouettes and emphasizes lines and shapes. The sun, or other light source, is often seen as either a bright spot or as a strong glare behind the subject.[1] Fill light may be used to illuminate the side of the subject facing toward the camera. Silhouetting occurs when there is a lighting ratio of 16:1 or more; at lower ratios such as 8:1 the result is instead called low-key lighting.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Freeman, Michael (2007) The Complete Guide to Light & Lighting in Digital Photography. ILEX, London: Lark Books. pp. 74&75. ISBN 978-1-57990-885-0.