Camera Settings and Tips for Silhouette Images

How to Capture those Mysterious Silhouette Images? Silhouette Photography Settings & Tips Explained with Examples

When I think of a Silhouette, the first thing that comes to my mind is a James Bond movie! Well, if you remember the main title sequence of James Bond movies, they have mysterious visual elements that reflect each film’s theme showing silhouettes of the characters.

silhouette photography

As you may be aware, silhouette photography is a type of creative photography where you hide your subject in the darkness, thereby creating a sense of mystery in your photographs.

Your subject could be a person, animal, bird, object, architecture or a landscape represented as a solid shape of a single colour – usually black – with a featureless interior; its edges matching the outline of the subject.

silhouette images

Silhouette images exude mystery, mood, emotion and drama; it kindles the viewer’s imagination to understand/interpret what story the photograph is trying to convey.

silhouette photography tutorial

Pro tips:

  • Let the Sun/any other light source be behind your subject so that your subject is backlit (more light will shine from the background than the foreground)
  • Choose a subject with a defined and recognizable shape
  • Experiment – If you think that the image looks better without the source of light in the frame, go for it.

Desert Silhouette

silhouette

Camera SettingsAperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/4000 sec, ISO: 100

Sunset Silhouette

sunset silhouette photography

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/32, Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec, ISO: 100.

Blue Hour Silhouette

silhouette photo

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/3.5, Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec, ISO 400

Rule of Thirds Composition was used in this image.

Golden Hour Silhouette

woman silhouette photography

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/5, Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec, ISO 100, Exposure bias: -0.3 step, Metering Mode: Center Weighted Average

Bird Silhouette

silhouette photography settings

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec, ISO 3200

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo, an aspiring photographer

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Silhouette Photography with the help of practical examples.

Camera Settings and Tips for Silhouette Images

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When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express.  

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Want to create mystery using the art of photography, then go for silhouette photography! And do share your amazing clicks with us in the comment box below.

Time lapse photography

Landscape Photography: Same Place with Different Light at Different Times

It’s human tendency to rush to different places to capture all the beauty that is there in the world. But, with experience – you learn that slowing down and being patient gets your creative juices flowing that rewards you with some amazing photographs.

As a photographer, you’re aware how light changes a scene; every place wears a different look at different times of the day.

You might be wanting to photograph your favourite place/landscape during different seasons of the year but, if you can’t travel that often – you can surely capture the beauty of the place on your trip by visiting it, the same day at short intervals or by photographing it from the window of your resort room – if you’ve got a good view.

Below 4 photographs depict how light conceals and reveals different elements of the same scene:

Image before sunrise

time lapse photography

Image at sunrise

time lapse photo

Image after sunrise

Landscape Photography

Image after sunset

time lapse android

For time lapse photography – you can either shoot a time lapse video from your DSLR Camera of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moving clouds or moving people on the street etc. You can also take a lot of photographs at short intervals and then create a time lapse video out of the photographs using a software.

Well, if you don’t have a DSLR Camera, you can shoot a Hyperlapse Video from your android smartphone (remember to keep your phone on a stand to avoid shake as you’ll be recording the video for several minutes). With Hyperlapse videos, you can show actions/movements that are happening at a normal/slow speed in the scene at a much faster speed.

Below is a hyperlapse video of moving people & moving clouds

Below is a sky timelapse/hyperlapse or clouds timelapse    

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo, an aspiring photographer.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept  of photographing same place at different times with the help of practical examples.

Time lapse photo

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When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express.  

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

If you haven’t yet taken photographs of the same place at different times (time lapse photography) – do give it a try. And remember to share those photographs with us in the comment box below.

People Photography

Adding People into your Travel Photos – a Good Idea or a Bad Idea? Find it Out Here

Trying to photograph an amazing landscape? Just when you’re about to take the shot, you see people posing a selfie in front of it, that blocks your view. So, what do you do? Wait for their selfie session to get over, isn’t it? Well, we’ve all been there.

But, do you know – having people in the scene you’re photographing is not always a hindrance to creating aesthetically pleasing photographs? Yes, you read it right! Adding a human element in your scene engages the viewer as it adds life or motion to a still photo, captures local stories, balances the composition of the image, provides a reference for scale, adds depth to the photograph, conveys popular activities of a place and more.

Wondering, how to decide whether to keep people in the frame or not? Just check whether they fit in with the composition of the image – will they attract the viewer’s attention to your image by letting them think – who are those people in the photograph and what are they doing at that place?

So, let’s dive in and understand both the things – people in photographs that help in creating amazing photographs and people in photographs that don’t go well with the composition of the image.

Girls fill the negative space in the foreground and the photo also makes the viewer think – what the two girls are talking about (Uttarakhand)

people photography

Biker adds motion/speed to a nature photograph (Mussoorie)

Biker adding Motion to Still Photos

Depicts activities of the locals – woman in blue fishing (Meghalaya)

women photography

Tells more about the place – a Sage walking towards the holy River Ganga to quench his thirst for spirituality (Rishikesh)

man photography

Shows Occupational Hazard – Fishermen trying to take the boat out into the sea when it gets hit by the wave (Goa)

photo people

Girl in purple shirt filling a can with the holy Ganga water provides a reference for scale by depicting how grand/magnificent nature is (Rishikesh)

outdoor photo

Another example that gives a reference for scale (Meghalaya)

nature photography

Yet another example that gives a reference for scale- Group of travellers facing inside the frame also takes the viewer’s attention inside the photo (Kashmir)

silhouette images

Girl on the tree holding leaves depicts the local attire (Kashmir ki Kali)

women photography Kashmir

Traveller exploring/wandering through the streets – Girl in pink adds life, colour to the still streets of Mussoorie (Street Photography)

street photography

Now, take a look at the below 2 photographs where having people in the frame spoil the composition

If the man wouldn’t have been cut in the image – the photograph would have been more amazing (Kashmir)

landscape photography

The people are a distraction in the below image or else the photograph of the leafless tree with a cloudy sky would have created a more dramatic effect

nature photography Meghalaya

Pro-tip: Well, there’s a trick for removing people in the scene who’re not adding any value to your photograph by setting slower shutter speed (long exposure).

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept  of Including People into Travel Photographs with the help of practical examples.

People Photography

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When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express.  

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

Have you photographed a place where people in the scene enhanced the composition and helped in creating a more attractive image? Do share such photographs and your experience with us in the comment box below.

Camera Settings for Moon Photography

How to Take Moon-ingful Photographs at Night? Go-to Camera Settings for Moon Photography

Moon Photography

As photographers, we have the power to capture the beauty of our universe and share it with the world!

Astrophotography is the photography of astronomical objects, celestial events, and areas of the night sky which includes Moon Photography, Star Trails Photography, Milky Way Photography, Northern Lights Photography and more. We’ve already covered Sun Photography in our earlier blog, now let’s dive into Moon Photography.

Best Camera Settings for Moon Photography

Moon is beautiful and mysterious in all its phases – be it the Full Moon, Crescent Moon, isn’t it? Well, if you’re a night owl – you’ll love photographing the moon.

How to photograph the moon? (Pro tips for Moon Photography)

  • Use your longest lens 300mm or more (you can also try with 200mm or 250mm) to click the photograph of the moon
  • Depending on your creative vision – how do you want to compose the photograph, what elements of the scene you want in the frame, you can choose to go for Wide-angle lens or Zoom lens
  • If you’re using Manual Mode, you can use the ‘Looney 11 Rule’: Set Aperture to f/11 and Shutter Speed to the reciprocal of the ISO you’ve set.

For instance, set aperture to f/11, if you’re using ISO 400, then set shutter speed to 1/400 secs; if ISO 1600 then shutter speed of 1/1600 sec and so on

  • If you’re using either Aperture Priority mode or Shutter Priority mode, then to avoid the moon in your photograph to look like a white disc (without its craters), dial down Exposure Compensation to -2, -3, -4 or -5 so that the resulting image looks natural and depicts the craters on the moon’s surface (Remember: Exposure Compensation doesn’t work in Manual Mode)

You can experiment with settings like for ISO begin from 400 till 1600 and go for mid-range aperture: f/8 – f/11

  • Manual focus mode recommended; sometimes in Autofocus mode – it may be difficult for the camera to detect and set focus on the moon (it depends on the brightness of the moon, if the moon is bright enough – autofocus mode works)

Talking about Autofocus mode – Canon is expected to launch a new R-mount flagship camera by the name Canon EOS R1 with Quad-Pixel AF system (QPAF) that would improve autofocus accuracy no matter what orientation the subject or the camera is in. (Obviously, it will be more expensive than its recent released Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6 full-frame mirrorless cameras which are priced at Rs.3, 39,995 and Rs.2, 15,995 respectively)

  • If the exposure you’ve set is low, even if you press the shutter release button, it won’t allow you to click the photo or release the shutter

For instance, your settings are aperture: f/11, ISO 800, Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec, then try a different setting by increasing the exposure, maybe you can use f/11, ISO 1600, Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec or less

  • Tripod is highly recommended to avoid a blur photograph and give you a sharp image of the moon
  • If you don’t have a tripod, you can increase the ISO but remember a higher ISO will produce a more grainy image; so set your ISO accordingly
  • Use Self-timer mode to eliminate the possibility of camera shake when you release the shutter button to take the shot
  • Set the focus to infinity (you will find the infinity symbol ∞ on your camera lens)

If you don’t have the infinity symbol ∞ then go for the hard stop of your camera’s focus ring which is the place at which the focus ring will turn no further.

  • Try both the possibilities to shoot the moon – Live View mode and through the Viewfinder to check what works best for you in the given lighting conditions

Take a look at the below pictures and Camera Settings that were used to photograph the moon:

Phase of the Moon: First Quarter

(It is a primary Moon phase when we can see exactly half of the Moon’s visible surface illuminated)

How to photograph the moon

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec, ISO: 1600, Focal length: 250mm, Exposure Compensation: -5, Focus was set to infinity

Phase of the Moon: First Quarter (with a different setting)

Moon Photo

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec, ISO: 1600, Focal length: 250mm, Exposure Compensation: -5, Focus was set to infinity

Phase of the Moon: Waxing Gibbous

(It is the intermediate phase, Waxing means moon is getting bigger; Gibbous refers to the shape, which is less than the full circle of a Full Moon, but larger than the semicircle shape of the Moon at the Third Quarter)

Phases of the Moon Photograph

Camera Settings – (Looney 11 Rule was used) Aperture: f/11, Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec, ISO: 1600, Focal length: 250mm, Focus was set to infinity

Photograph of the White Desert of Kutch (India) using Wide-angle lens

Moon photography using wide angle lens

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/5, Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec, ISO: 100, Focal length: 46mm

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept  of Moon Photography with the help of practical examples.

Camera Settings to photograph the moon

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When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express.  

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

So, have you photographed the moon yet? If yes – do share your moon photographs and the settings you used to photograph it, in the comment box below.

Camera Settings for Sunrise Photography, Sunset Photography and Everything in Between

Camera Settings for Sunrise Photography, Sunset Photography and Everything in Between

Camera Settings for Sunrise Photography and Sunset Photography

Looking for photography inspiration? Well, our world is full of inspiration – sometimes we find it within, sometimes in nature, wildlife, people and so on.

To sharpen your photography skills, you visit photography tutorials websites and check out famous photographers’ works on the internet and social media.

Sunset on Beach Photography

One of the best places to get inspired is ‘Movies’; you get entertained while learning composition skills from their excellent cinematography, isn’t it? Talking about sunrise photography, I fell in love with the opening scene of a beautiful lake at sunrise in the popular Hollywood movie ‘The Notebook’.

Blue Hour Photography

You can capture the beauty of the Blue Hour which occurs before sunrise and after sunset; it lasts between 20 – 40 mins before sunrise and between 20 – 40 mins after sunset before it gets too dark. Sometimes, you may also see orange, yellow, pink colours near the horizon.

Golden hour photography

The Golden Hour aka Magic Hour is also a great photo op that occurs after sunrise and before sunset; it lasts for about 40 mins after sunrise and 40 mins before sunset.

Take a look at the below photographs and Camera Settings that were used to capture them:

Before Sunset

Camera settings for Sun Photography

Camera SettingsAperture: f/22, Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec, ISO: 100, Focal length: 55mm

Shining Clouds before Sunset

Camera settings for sunset  photography

Camera Settings – Aperture: f/32, Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec, ISO: 100, Focal length: 220mm

Setting Sun

Sunset Photography

Camera Settings-Aperture: f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/3200 sec, ISO: 800, Focal length: 250mm

Dramatic Sky after Sunset

DSLR Camera settings for sunset  photography

Camera Settings-Aperture: f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec, ISO: 800, Focal length: 55mm

Afternoon Sun Flare in the Dark Woods

Sun Flare photography

Camera Settings-Aperture: f/4.5, Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec, ISO: 800

(Post processing was done in Lightroom to adjust exposure (brightness))

Sunrise in the City

Sunrise Photography

Camera Settings-Aperture: f/11, Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec, ISO: 200, Focal length: 105mm, Metering mode: Spot

Pro tips for Sun Photography

  • If you’re travelling to a new place, check the sunrise and sunset timings beforehand so that you can reach the place early and plan your composition for the photograph
  • Tripod will help in capturing better photographs 
  • Go for Wide angle lens/Zoom lens depending on your creative vision or what visual story you want to convey to the viewers

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept  of Sunrise and Sunset Photography with the help of practical examples.

Camera Settings for Sunrise and Sunset Photography

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When you do photography: Remember the 5E’s – Explore, Experiment, Experience, Enjoy & Express.  

Do Share The Learning – Like It, Post It, Pin It, Tweet It!

So, what’s your favourite time to be out amidst nature and photograph it – is it Blue Hour, Golden Hour, Sunrise or Sunset?