We’ve had some feedback from members in Australia regarding posting times. I’m posting earlier and would appreciate feedback so that we can better plan in order to accomodate our members in  every part of the world. Please leave a comment or use the CONTACT US form. Although this challenge is available earlier, please only post starting 00:01 Sunday PST. THANKS.


Backlighting (Contre-jour) in photography is often used to create silhouettes. This week we’ll focus on a different approach to backlit subjects, we’re looking for translucency in nature subjects. Nature is full of unique textures and colors that can only be perceived and photographed as light passes through your subject when lit from behind.


Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Translucent Feathers II - Ring Billed Gull

I myself particularly like the effect on birds, more specifically large white birds such as Gulls, Snow Geese and Egrets… This particular image of a Ring-billed Gull has great contrast between the translucent feathers and the dark silhouetted non-translucent body of the bird.

Steve Troletti Photography: PICTURE OF THE DAY / PHOTO DU JOUR &emdash; Backlit Tulips / Tulipes à contre-jours

Translucency in nature isn’t only limited to the feathers of birds. Leaves and petals come in all sizes, shapes and colors as illustrated by these tulips.


This backlit Black-capped Chickadee feeding on frozen sap is an other great example of what we can bring to life under a different light.




The possibilities are absolutely endless, even a large wave in the right conditions will come to life under backlit conditions.

Steve Troletti Photography: Litter in Montreal Nature Parks / déchets dans les parcs nature de Montréal &emdash; Litter - Tim Hortons Coffee Cup / Déchets - Tasse de café Tim Hortons

You may not always like what you find, keep an open mind and maximize your possibilities. This cup was found along a river in a nature park. Converted into drug paraphernalia, it’s just one more example of what people leave behind in or natural heritage.

  • To complete your challenge you will need to find a subject, preferably outdoor that permits light to pass through without being completely transparent.
  • At times you may need to use a bit of fill flash to bring more out of your subject. I suggest you experiment with and without for the best results.
  • NEVER point your camera directly into the sun, especially mid-day sun. Make sure there’s an object between you and the Sun to prevent damage to your camera.
  • NEVER look at the Sun through a DSLR. Even with filters that appear to diminish light (I.E. IR Filters) you can still cause damage to your eyes and metering sensors.

For your personal safety please become familiar with bugs, insects, arachnids plants (Poison Oak, Poison Ivy, Giant Hogweed…) and wildlife in your area that can harm you before venturing out on a nature hike. Use appropriate repellents when necessary, especially for ticks and mosquito in infected areas.

Always respect nature and leave bird nests and young animals alone. Even if they appear to be in distress, they really may not be. Always better to call wildlife authorities (Fish and Wildlife) in your area before interfering with nature.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.