BACK-LIGHTING AND SILHOUETTES — EASY PHOTO TRICKS

There are serious techniques in photography, but there are also “tricks.” I learned most of the serious stuff, but eventually I also learned a few tricks that have saved a lot of otherwise useless photographs and turned them into “art.”

Late twilight by Lake Otsego – backlighting at work

One of the very first “tricks” I learned in photography was how to create a dark frame around a picture. All you need to do is stand in shadow and shoot into light. You will create a dark “frame” around your picture. It has become a standard “thing” for me. It looks surprisingly elegant and requires zero skill.

More back-lighting

The second was in response to the bane of back-lighting. If you want decent detail on your foreground, back-lighting tends to make that difficult. For what I would assume are obvious reasons. Sometimes, you simply can’t make it work because the different between the items in front of that very bright sky are too intense to get any decent details without a lot more work than you are willing to put into that picture.

Okay — yes, it’s true. Not every single photograph is worth hours of effort. Sometimes, it’s a nice shot, but this isn’t your day to spend the afternoon messing with it to make it perfect.

For those of us who take a lot of pictures, imperfect is where most of them will be. Not every shot has to be an award-winner — and anyway, is someone giving out awards? I haven’t gotten one in years!

Date palms under a dome of sky

For this, there are silhouettes. This can really make a very crisp, clean photograph. Just don’t let too much clutter mess up your lines!

That’s it for the day. Two little tips that if you didn’t already know them, are easy and fun.



Categories: Art and special effects, Composition, Photography

Tags: , , , ,

21 replies

  1. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

    That photo with the palm silhouettes is very good!

    Well, actually, they all are 😉

    Like

  2. Didn’t see a spot to comment on “snow shovelling” but that was indeed touching, brought warmth to one’s heart. Lovely, enjoyed beginning to end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this, Marilyn, thank you once again for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the info Marilyn- LOVE that photo with the starburst!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, twilight about 100 feet from home. I wanted to shoot at home, but it was obvious the sun was dropping very fast, so we pulled over and I took about a dozen of the best pictures I’ve ever taken. I have concluded that “luck” requires two things: having a camera with you — and knowing when to pull over, jump out of the car, and SHOOT — in this before the sun goes down. If we’d driven home, I’d never have gotten the shots.

      Like

  5. Lovely photos Marilyn, and very good advice. Composition is what it’s all about and those effects really enhance it.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Some very good photos and thanks for the tips

    Liked by 1 person

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