Anyway, I managed to take some photos demonstrating the different light effects, and the differences certainly are striking. Each of the light conditions (rather, angle to the sun/light source) creates different challenges in exposure.
Photo 1: Frontal Lighting, the sun is behind the camera. Here the colourful play equipment is strongly coloured and almost jumps out the photo, though the whole thing looks quite 2-dimensional.
f/8, 1/180s, 32mm
Photo 2: Side Lighting, the sun is to the left of the camera. In this example there is some shadow, which gives the photo more interest and dimensionality.
f/8, 1/125s, 35mm
Photo 3: Back Lighting, where I shoot directly into the sun (or the direction of the sun at least). The play equipment is highly reflective, and this causes problems for exposure. I have not taken a silhouette image in this case, but this is the situation when you would get a silhouette, if you expose for the bright sky behind the object, not possible in this situation.
f/8, 1/350s, 50mm
Photo 4: Edge Lighting. This is a challenge! Shooting in the direction of the sun, but the sun is just out of the frame (to one side) and the edge of the subject is lit. I have been looking for this one for a while, and today on the canal I thought this photo of reeds was quite close to what edge lighting is. I also remembered a photo from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 awards which showed an excellent (and memorable) use of this type of lighting. The photo is 'Polar Sunrise' and is by Miguel Lasa. I link to his photo here, of a bear in early morning light, where the background is all black and there is just the edge of the bear outlined in sunlight. Simply stunning!
f/4, 1/500s, 70mm