if there is a single one photographic situation that i do like most, it’s backlight in all its variations. it gives so much opportunity for drama, for hiding distracting things, for abstracting from a world full of diverting colors into the essence of shapes and silhouettes. in the picture above as well as in the prior “kalmunai fishermen” the beauty of form is intensified. in grey past a.k.a. my film days, backlight was always difficult, specifically when shooting slides.
in my experience, dslrs are well suited for backlight especially in situations where you can easily chimp or bracket. and my sony a700 seems to keep a lot of highlight information in its raw files for discovery with a suitable tool, lightzone in my case.