Blog 8 of “Nature Photography- Tips and Techniques” series.
Today’s blog is titled “Silhouettes”
Please do check out the previous blog in the series titled “Playing with depth of field”
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Camera: Canon 7D Mark II
Lens: Canon 400mm f/5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/640 Sec (First Shot), 1/1250 Sec (Second Shot)
ISO: 800 (First Shot), 100 (Second Shot)
“Silhouettes” here is a technique of shooting wildlife (or other genre) subjects in back-lit lighting conditions in golden morning and evening light.
The above shot is, well a pretty image of a very common bird found almost everywhere in India, a Red-Vented Bulbul. Although the bird is sharp, nicely perched, and the background pretty smooth and green, it is still a profile shot of a bird and doesn’t looks really interesting.
Below is the shot of the same bird shot at a different location and in totally different light conditions
A lot of forest fires were happening around our area a day before this shot, the atmosphere was so smoggy that one could look directly at the sun 2 hours after sunrise.
I was sitting outside my house, shooting some birds, when this Red vented bulbul came and sat on this tree. I immediately noticed the possibility of silhouetting the subject against the sun. The golden light along the fringes of the bird looked extremely beautiful, just like an aura one would imagine having around someone who is enlightened or a yogi.?
Since my metering was set to evaluative, the camera metered for the bright areas and darkened the blacks further. Reducing the highlights and opening up the shadows a tiny bit in post, resulted in this final image.
So next time when you are out in the field, shooting at sunrise/sunset, keep a lookout for this kind of light which can make even ordinary subjects stand out.
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Hope this helps!!!!