Thursday, January 22, 2009

Contrast and Shadows in your Photographs

Red Dusk and Night - Photographer's Delight

Location: Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada
: 2008
Camera: Canon 40D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 lens
Settings: ISO 100, f/20, 1/13 second, 85 mm
Support: resting on a post

Details: on my trip to Grand Bend I was enjoying the beautiful red sunset at the beach and taking lots of pictures. I had the opportunity to compose this photograph that I really enjoy (hopefully you do to!). Here are some tips to help you grab ones like this.
  1. Support -lighting will be low, so you will need to ensure the camera is steady. If you don't have your tripod with you (much like I did not that day), then resting it on a post, bench, wall, etc will do. Remember that a steady camera = a crisp photograph.
  2. ISO - as always, you want to strive for the lowest possible ISO for your conditions. In this case, I was able to use ISO 100 for as noise free shot. Recall from previous posts that while a higher ISO is more sensitive to light (and take photos in lower light conditions), it also has more noise in the shot.
  3. Aperture - Usually in lower light conditions you want a lower aperture so that the speed can be faster. HOWEVER, in this case I chose a higher aperture (f/20) so that the background and foreground would both be clear. Remember that a low f/stop will result in a faster shutter speed (more light comes in as it is wider) but creates blur on the subjects that are not in focus (known as bokeh).
  4. Composition - the part that draws my eyes to this photograph is the group of four unknown people walking together with the sunset in the background. It elicits good feelings and memories in me, as I hope it does for many people.
  5. Contrast - the bright background and the shadows of the people make the photograph a little more interesting and mysterious. I think of the subjects were well lit/clear, the picture would lose a lot.
Keep on clicking!

1 comment:

Shari said...

Good tips, enjoyed reading your posts. Thanks, I look forward to future ideas.