Some atmosphere photos from Chania old town lanes and the harbor area from an other perspective
Photography is drawing with light and this week’s Silhouette challenge firmly shows us that. A silhouette is about bringing together contrasts of a well-lit background against a dark subject, making the subject’s shape and outline as the main point of focus. A silhouette balances what the viewer sees alongside the darker toned facets of the subject that are intentionally kept hidden from the light.
Silhouettes are a great way to tell a story while leaving it up to the imagination of the viewer – there aren’t visible features to express emotion, so your viewer will fill in details depending on the context of the image – use this to direct your viewer’s line of thinking.
This is a lesson in exposure, composition and creativity all coming together. While silhouettes are commonly shot in the day and at golden / blue hours, you can absolutely shoot silhouettes at night too. This will work best when the object being shot is recognizable through their well-defined shape and outline.. Portraits, Still Life, Architecture and Nature typically make for good silhouette genres.
Silhouettes can often convey some kind of mystic story. By leaving the details in the dark, the story becomes compelling and the viewer is more engaged with the picture.
I would have loved to use these shots I took at Crete as they would have suited this challenge perfectly, but no, still I think they are great examples of silhouette! But I will have to come up with something new for the challenge or I could cheat… no, I won’t do that.
- Background Choice: Very often, we blur out the background and pay less attention to it. Here, pay a little extra attention to your choice of background. Make it contrast with the shape of your main subject.
- Narrow Aperture: Shoot with a relatively narrow aperture of f/8 or higher to reduce the amount of light falling on your sensor, getting great Depth Of Field and also reducing chromatic aberrations especially if you’re shooting into the light.
- Metering: We want to “trick” our camera into intentionally under-exposing the subject. So use spot metering or expose for the background.
- Post-processing: Use software wisely – in post processing, it’s generally helpful to boost the contrast in your image, add more saturation, and increase the blacks slightly to improve a silhouette shot.
Some atmosphere photos from Chania and buildings at the Venetian harbor. The first set I took with my mobile and the other with my camera where I was able to adjust the settings and zoom better and was able to get more moody shots.
Less is more. This week’s Negative Space challenge is what those words are all about. Make your composition’s subject stand out by ensuring you eliminate clutter, distractions and sometimes even a background.
Many minimalistic photography images have a great deal of negative space to isolate the subject. There are tons of genres and ideas that would make for very compelling shots – architecture, landscapes, portraits, food photography, abstracts and so much more. Think about the story or emotion you’d like to convey to your viewer and compose your shot after taking some time to think about it.
We’re looking for clear, un-cluttered images where the space surrounding the main subject or idea enhances your shot by taking the viewer’s eye straight there. That little bit of extra space allows for breathing room and leaves no doubt as to what the main point of interest is.
There’s magic in negative space, when used wisely, so think, breathe, shoot…
- Zoom with your feet: Move around to get the best composition for your photo.
- Different shooting angles: Because everything else is simplified in your frame, you have more license to “break” the rules of typical composition, for example where your subject is placed in the frame, or where they are looking.
- Find your background first: Go on a hunt for a red brick wall, or a blue garage door, then place your subject in front of it.
- Balance: Use the negative space to balance out the main subject. Don’t go overboard with the negative space, making it hard for the viewer to understand and absorb the main focus point of your shot.
- Shoot wide open: That dreamy, creamy bokeh is a great way to simplify your subject’s background, and keep the frame more minimalistic.
I would have loved to use some of the shots I took at Crete as they would have suited this challenge perfectly, but no, still I think they are great examples of negative space.