Today’s landscape photography photo tip continues with our discussion of adding a person to your sunset photography as the “star”. Adding a star – whether it is a human, animal or anything else, is vital. The pretty colors aren’t enough to create an award winner.
In yesterday’s article we covered adding them as a silhouette figure. While this can be a stunning shot, it is a bit abstract. The person is in silhouette and cannot be recognized. While this is not a bad thing – abstract “art” has its place too – it you want to have a portrait of a recognizable person with the sunset in the backdrop, a silhouette won’t work.
Since we’ve been trying to get the most intense colors possible, we have taken our meter reading from the sky (with the sun out of the frame) to get the general exposure, then we slightly underexposed it to intensify the colors.
Now when we add our model – we get the nice colors, etc. in the back ground, but she is nothing but a silhouette. Why? She (or he) is underexposed. All of the available light is behind her – in the sky.
There are two ways to increase the exposure enough to show detail in our model… First, just change the exposure setting to properly expose for the model.
This will show her correctly, but totally blow out the sky. It will be dramatically overexposed and you will lose a lot of the color that you’ve been working so hard to capture.
Photography styles do change and I’ve heard that this is somewhat popular right now. You are there anyway – and have the beautiful sunset – and have someone posing for you… you may as well take a couple shots. Who knows, you may like them the best!
The other alternative is to leave the exposure settings to get the best sunset colors – and bring up the exposure on your model with a flash unit! This way you can get a proper exposure on the subject AND still have all the intense sunset colors.
Of course using a flash unit has its own set of problems. Being a photographer, whether professional or amateur is nothing but solving all the various problems standing between you and getting the shot you’ve pre-visualized. You ARE pre-visualizing aren’t you?
The flash can be either attached to the camera or detached. If it is attached, the light going directly to the model can be harsh and unflattering. You will want to diffuse it or bounce it off a reflector.
If you use the flash detached from the camera, you can mount it to a stand of some sort and shoot from whatever angle you want the light to come from. Now you can have the sun as a backlight and the flash can establish any lighting pattern you want from the front.
There are three ways to trigger the flash unit. They all work by attaching something to the “Hot Shoe” on the top of your camera.
The hot shoe is where you would normally put the flash. (If your camera has one, don’t use a pop up flash.) When you take the flash off the camera, it can be triggered by a cord from the camera to the flash unit, by an infrared trigger or by a radio controlled trigger.
The cord from the camera to the light is the least attractive option. The cord constantly gets in the way and no matter how long it is – it is never long enough.
Next best is infrared. But, in sunlight, radio controlled triggers tend to work better than infrared ones. You may want to consider that when the time comes to add them to your shooting arsenal.
Finally, when using a flash unit, it is providing a white light. If you were shooting at around noon, it would be OK. Shooting around sunset and it is a little off. Cover the flash head with a colored gel to give it a warmer sunset color. Gels can be purchased from most any camera store or online at Amazon – it would be worth your while to get a set of them. They only cost a couple bucks and frequently come in handy.
That’s it for today’s landscape photography photo tip. To get better sunset photography, add a star and light him or her so that the sunset colors will enhance their image. I see some photo contest winners in your near future.
To learn more and enroll in a FREE “photo tips” course, go to: OnTargetPhotoTraining.com/PhotoTips… You will also get YOUR free copy of “7 Secrets To Stunning Photos!” AND you’ll get a FREE daily photo tips newsletter! Check it out right now while you are thinking about it!Dan Eitreim has been a professional photographer in Southern California for over 20 years – his data base exceeds 6000 past clients, and he says that learning photography is easy, if you know a few tried and true strategies.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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