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Backlighting on the West Coast

A lighting technique that turned into a 27 year and going photography career.

A lighting technique that turned into a 27 year and going photography career.

A lighting technique that turned into a 27 year and going photography career. Using the backlighting method.

What is the one thing you want to learn to improve your photography? For me, it is lighting techniques.


Food Backlight Photography


How to photograph food in the most unlikely way,

Use backlight and shoot into the light.

It’s moody, grainy, and full of feelings. 

Stories and eccentricity. Like the authentic Chef preparing the full-flavoured minimalist West Coast food.


Using backlighting to photograph food is unique. 


It is unusual. Backlighting is challenging with all the light flaring into your camera lens. A flattering lighting technique for food photography is side lighting.

Side lighting creates an even shadow with a sharp focus on one side. The shadows side is moodier and visually pleasing. Most food photographers use side lighting setups.

The thing is, backlighting has grit. It is harder to master and allows for unexpected lighting flair. I love the lighting magic that happens.

Backlighting Food Photography
Backlighting Food Photography
Backlighting Food Photography
Backlighting On the dunee

Art Moods Backlight Photography


West Coast in the sunset,

Sea scapes in the salmon light,

Succulent dune plants in the afternoon glow,

Warm light paired with a baked fish cheesecake.


Sunset on the beach is my favourite.


Sunrise is also beautiful, but the sun in South Africa rise quick. There is a small window of the backlight in the morning.

In the afternoon, the sun takes it slow. The orange tones develop and linger. The west coast lazy sunsets take time and develop into a beautiful orange glow. It is a continuous weekend feeling with the sound of the low tide waves in the sunset.

Backlight on the beach
Backlight on the beach
Backlight on the beach
Backlighting fish cheese cake

Fashion and Portrait Backlight Photography


A smile in the sun,

A mood in the mist,

Movement in the wind,

It’s a playful dance in and out of focus.


Portraits in the sunset.

A woman is dancing through the shallow waves in the light flairs. A long dress designed and made by Erre Fashion. The sunlight wraps around Kayleigh, moving through the cold, salty Atlantic seawater. 

A cloud covers the sun. It is a moody light play on the ocean. 

There is depth in the sky, with light streaks flaring into my lens. It is another magic day on the beach as the clouds and mist roll on the beach. Always filled with surprises, the weather by the ocean is distinctive.

Backlighting with Erre Fashion
Backlighting with Erre Fashion
Backlighting with Erre Fashion
Backlighting with Erre Fashion

Do your colourful photos and writing follow the numbers?

 Today, at the start of August, I am sharing a secret. 

South Africans are protective. You can understand that. Between politics, economic factors, a scarcity mindset exists. We protect our hard-earned rands.


The USA thrives on marketing and advertising because of one thing, competition.


If you share, you empower. If you help, you educate. If you invite, you build relationships. Confidence is not arrogance. It is the mindset that follows when you back yourself. If you deliver results, your process works. 

Businesses, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors want to grow. To create results with visuals, copywriting, and marketing, you need the numbers. Few people I talk to about marketing share their numbers.

If you don’t test, split test and retest. You shoot into the dark.

As a photographer, I love capturing photos. It is second nature for me. It is relaxing to enjoy a visual moment. Shooting into the dark is carefree.

Backlight in the sunset
Backlight in the sunset

Do your colourful photos and writing follow the numbers?


Have you thought about connecting your content to profit?


If the answer is no, there is a proven method for you.

The courses I am completing are US-based. The Americans love sharing and showing you what they create. They share their data. Content that works and what doesn’t work. They also share how much they earn from a marketing campaign. 

If you work hard, share your success. I love that mindset.

Backlighting swimwear shoot
Backlighting swimwear shoot

In my twenties, I assisted many International photographers and observed their workflow.


I realized that I love backlighting, so I started applying backlight to almost all my work.

The style is romantic. A grainy backlit photo has feeling. It is a proven lighting style that I copied and applied to my work.

For many years I spend my days running up and down the beach. Worldwide clients and models booked me to create backlit images. It was carefree Cape Town days with a tan on the beach.

Backlight sensual portrait
Backlight lingerie portrait

If you want to get good at something new, don’t reinvent the wheel. 

If you want to create results for your brand, a proven, tested method will work. Follow the data from every piece of marketing you do. That will show you what works and what doesn’t work. Our digital world spoils us with more access to data than ever before. 


The process is simple.


You can use social media. Post three times a week. Study the post that received the most engagement. Not likes, you want to look for post engagement. Take the post with the highest engagement and create more of that content. Within two weeks, you will understand what content your audience follow. This method is an easy start before you dive deeper.


Art is a proven process.


Inside the proven process, creativity happens. Creatives want to create. The outcome is almost guaranteed to succeed if you create according to a process.

If the results point to the content that works, create a blueprint. Your blueprint is your proven process that follows the data. Data access is essential. Advertising is first a numbers game, and then creativity follows.


Francois Pistorius Backlight studio beauty

Do more of what works.


I am working to understand the copywriting process. Copy the working methods and apply them. It is a daily practice. 

Photography, Art or writing work, because of a proven process.

Happy August, the summer months by the pool and on the beach are around the corner. We love summer.

Good luck and make it easier for yourself. 


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Francois Pistorius

I create visual content and write punchy words for your brand.