“Creativity Boosters” is a series of photography tips designed to inspire and encourage you to try new shooting techniques.
Do you ever find yourself in a rut or shooting the same things over and over again?
Don’t let your photography get boring!
Use one of the creativity boosters to drive your eye to find new subjects.
The second in the series is about making silhouette photographs.
Silhouettes are by nature intriguing, dramatic, and somewhat mysterious since we only have a limited amount of information about the subject that is in total darkness.
There are 3 ingredients to a great silhouette photograph:
In order to render your subject in total darkness it must be backlit. The light will be directly in front of you and behind your subject making the sky brighter than the subject which falls into complete darkness.
Because the subject of the photograph is going to be completely black it needs to have an interesting shape to hold the viewers attention. It can’t just be a big black blob. It needs to have a well defined and interesting shape.
There needs to be great colour in the sky. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dramatic sky since you have the silhouette to add interest to the image. But there needs to be wonderful colours like you get at sunrise or sunset.
- Use the 3 step method for exposure. In this method you use the exposure lock button on your camera to meter on the sky. This will make the exposure correct for the sky and make your subject go completely black. Once you have locked in the exposure, you can focus on your subject, recompose, and shoot.
- If the sun is in your frame, you can create a beautiful sunburst by using a small aperture like f/22.
- Don’t try to pull out detail in the subject that is in silhouette in post processing.
- If there is water in your frame, you can use neutral density filter to enable longer exposures to make waves soften into a blur.
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