Monday, August 4, 2008

Silhouette Images

Digital Photography Silhouettes

Article by Amy Renfrey

Silhouettes are some of the most beautifully gentle types of digital photography you can do. They can offer us a commanding presence combined with such gentleness. A digital photography silhouette can work so well to emphasize a certain subjects form very well. It can take your main focus from an uninteresting scene to one of pure interest and fascination. And this works extremely well in digital photography.

Digital photography Silhouettes work best when there is one main subject (can comprise of a few subjects) that has the whole emphasis on it. What works best is the light coming from behind to block out the whole subject, not just dim the subject.

But, there is more to it than just blacking out the subject from the light behind. You will find that when you go to take your digital photo silhouette shape and form become features points of your picture. Your lines and form become paramount to a successful silhouette image.

The background colour can really work well to enhance your silhouette, especially bold colour that stands out nicely to enhance the blackness of your subject. Your lines will help enhance the viewer’s perception of the more concentrated feeling you are creating.

Bold background colour works well with a digital silhouette photo because it enhances the black and you’ll find it lifts your subject because of the stark contrast it creates. Black and bold, intense colour can enhance each other. A black figure against a hot pink background or bright blue can look powerful.

Your lines and shapes are enhanced because the detail of the frontal aspect of the main subject is gone. The eye is left with nothing but shapes and form to capture the essence of the image itself. We are unable to see frontal detail so naturally our eye looks at the composition and form of that subject to find information from it.

To create beautiful silhouette digital photography choose a simple theme. Silhouette is all about “simple” and there are many things that work well. Silhouetted subjects against a sunset sky are a traditional method of creating beautiful silhouettes. Another thing you can do is black and white silhouette. Black and white silhouettes such as branches of a tree against a blue sky done in your black and white mode create a sense of drama and interest.

The sprawled-out branches of the tree as a shape tend to capture our interest very quickly. Inanimate objects such as ladders, lamp posts, bridges and windmills can also make powerful silhouette digital photos.

Framing your silhouette is very important too. Framing creates an important aspect in the composition of your photo and helps to create the point of where the lines can begin and end.

Don’t forget about the weather. The weather changes your light instantly. Silhouettes rely on light and it’s important to make sure your weather isn’t changing too dramatically if you are taking outside silhouette digital photos. You can use good weather turned bad fairly well in silhouette digital photography. A mountain range with misty clouds can help increase the sense of the dramatic anyway, and when done in black and white, your silhouette becomes more powerful.

If you want to practice getting superb silhouette digital photos, just look at your shadows during the day. I urge you to really look at the lines, shapes and forms of the shadow because it’s very much like the kind of eye you would cast over a newly created silhouette photo. It’s a great way to practice your silhouette digital
photography. See how the shadow creates the outside lines of your main subject.

You can even take a photo of the shadow to get an idea of how silhouettes appear. So keep practicing and improving your digital photography always!

Visit Amy Renfrey at...
Digital Photography Success

Friday, August 1, 2008

What's Cool In Photoshop?

If you've always wanted to know how to Edit Your Digital Photos Like The Professionals do but you didn't know where to begin, this may be your answer. Read on...

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Landscape Photography

I bolted from my bed to my computer early this morning. How early I don't know, but it was early. Early enough for the coyotes to be heard howling in the distance. Early enough to feel deprived of coffee. Early enough to stumble over the cat. She still won't speak to me. But I had to write out my idea before it escaped me. Perhaps you understand what I mean. Or maybe you don’t.

In any event it was all about landscape photography. I had a dream about it. Something called "sweet light." It was so curious I had to do a little research. Then I dug deep and found this wonderful article by Amy Renfrey.

Amy is a photographer/teacher and wrote the article that I'd been dreaming about. Now isn't that a chance event. The article is called Landscape Photography at Dawn and Dusk.

Read Amy's tips and tricks on "sweet light" landscape photography.

Landscape Photography at Dawn and Dusk

By Amy Renfrey

Many photographers find that they produce dramatic and unusual landscape photographs during the twilight and sunrise hours. This period of the day sees amazing color in the sky, sharply drawn shadows and silhouettes and the angle of the sun, or the moon, casting unique light across a scene.

There are also moments outside of the dawn and dusk hours that many photographers refer to as having the same “sweet light” or the natural light as just before sunset, and immediately after sunrise. However this “sweet light” is usually only available during certain weather conditions when natural light is rapidly changing, giving an object or an entire scene a certain radiance or added dimension that are not normally present around it. For example, heavy black storm clouds in front of the camera lens, with intense sunshine coming from behind the photographer. This is a moment of “sweet light” and high photographic drama.

One of the primary reasons that a photographer will set out to capture landscapes at these extreme hours is because the unusual set or angle of the sun reveals unusual textures and formations to elements of a scene. The brilliant light of day may greatly illuminate a broad expanse of land and sky, but this may not produce an artistic or unique view of the scene, and the brilliance of the sun may wash out patterns, depth and characteristics to the landscape.

Most landscape photography is done with a wide-angle lens, and a camera set at a smaller aperture, or f-stop, to increase the depth of the field. This can still apply to dusk and dawn photography, but the low lighting will require a longer exposure. Because of this most dawn and dusk images are taken from a tripod. Some photographers will also rely on certain filters to cool or warm the sunlight in the image. Photographers must remember that taking an image directly into the sun places everything else in the landscape image into silhouette or shadow.

For clarification, landscape photography requires a few basic pieces of equipment:

  • A very wide lens such as a zoom like a 12-24mm, which most landscape artists consider necessary to accurately catch the images. An intermediate zoom such as a 24-120mm with f/3.5-5.6 variables can also work well.
  • Tripod of adjustable heights, light enough in weight to be easily transported or carried with the photographer, but not so light as to topple over.
  • Trigger cable – many photographers like to have access to a trigger cable to prevent any camera shake from ruining their well-arranged shots.
  • Assorted filters to add emphasis to scenes or to alter light, and these can include polarizing, graduated, neutralizing or even soft focus filters.

Landscape photography at the dawn and dusk hours can give a photographer incredible results and the joy of experiencing a beautiful hour of the day or evening.

As always to your success,

Amy Renfrey

Digital Photography Success

Make sure to click the link above to discover more of Amy Renfrey's insider secrets on landscape photography.

Chat with you soon again.

To your joy, to your happiness, to your success,

The Photo-Genie