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Silhouette Essentials

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Frame your subject. If you are shooting a landscape, try using the branches of a nearby tree in the foreground. The “frame” doesn’t have to be perfectly focused. You can also use frames effectively when photographing people. Perhaps you can frame a group of children playing in a park by using a tire swing in the foreground. Be creative. Good photographs are well composed. There have been entire books written about composition, and you should certainly spend some time seeing what they have to offer if you are serious about photography. If you’re shooting a landscape, try to find an “s” curve to incorporate into your image. Streams and rivers meander. Rather than situate yourself in front of a “straight” section of the stream, move around until you capture the gentle curves the stream takes. Same with a garden; find the winding paths and use them to add movement and interest to your photograph.

Should one buy editing software in addition to what was supplied with the camera? This is a question with no clear answer. Most of the supplied software is really good and in many cases all you would need for the lifetime of the camera. In most cases they both PC and MAC ready.

Any subject can be rendered as a silhouette provided we are using back lighting. It need not be a person. A silhouette of a tree, or a child’s bike, or any strategically chosen object can add interest to a scene. Fire off a few shots and check the image on your LCD screen. If you used all the correct settings, you should have a perfectly exposed ocean sunset with your subject rendered as a black silhouette. First, focus the camera on the subject. We want the outline of her silhouette to be crisp and in perfect focus. I recommend using a large aperture opening, specifically f8 or higher. The reason for this is we want the background sunset and ocean to be in good focus too.

Do you know all of the essential features on your Nikon D400 or Nikon d7100 camera so that you get the most out of your photos? If not, start today!

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