Definitions

contre jour

Contre-jour

[kon-truh-zhoor; Fr. kawntruh-zhoor]

Contre-jour, French for 'against daylight', refers to photographs taken when the camera is pointing directly toward the source of light. An alternative term is backlighting.

Contre-jour produces backlighting of the subject. This effect 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. Fill light may be used to illuminate the side of the subject facing toward the camera.

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