silhouettes

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Vanessa and mars, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Vanessa and mars

    Vanessa and mars TPF Noob!

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    I'm new to the whole digital photography thing and just purchased my first digital. Canon Rebel XTi and for the life of me I CAN NOT get a silhouette picture. They always end up having the subject fully colored.
    A little advice for the newbie?:confused:
     
  2. BYoung

    BYoung TPF Noob!

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    I haven't done any silhouette pictures myself but I've seen this questioned asked a lot. I'm sorry if any of this is wrong, but only thing I have silhouette is my hand. Oh and someone please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.

    You need to meter the light itself first, be it sunset or other light. Use the "Av" mode set you aperture to whatever you want (ie: f/3.5) then press the shutter button down half way so it tells you the shutter speed. Say its says f/3.5 with 1/320 shutter. Now place your subject between you and this light source and in Manual Mode "M" on the dial. Put in the settings you got from the "Av" mode. You would want to be on the same path the persons shadow makes, to be sure you are using the person to block their area of light out. Since the subject is stopping the light hitting them they should show up as a black area. Now take your picture.

    If they still are showing up with some color to them, then there may be to much light shinning on the side you want to be black (ie: another street light or whatever). Or use an even faster shutter speed to let even less light in, this will make the whole picture darker but it will help you get the silhouette effect.
     
  3. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    If you are using aperture priority or auto, try first metering (aiming the camera to the sky and pressing half way the button and then put the values from there into manual mode) for the bright sky behind the subject.

    P.S. I don't know if the XTi has the button, but there is button with a " * " near it (name AE Lock)... the you can aim with the camera for the bright source behind the subject press the AE lock, and keeping it pressed aim for the subjects and shoot :)

    This are some advices, try different shutter speed and aperture sizes and then you will figure out yourself more easily :D

    Good luck...
     
  4. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    You can also try lowering the exposure compensation by about 2 or 3, but what the others guys said is easier and faster and requires less trial and error.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need a background that's probably 3-4 full stops brighter than your subject
     
  6. Harmony

    Harmony TPF Noob!

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    One clarification: Using automatic mode won't work. At all.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ... thats becuase in full auto mode, the flash pops up and lights the people it sees as being underexposed.

    Set it to manual, get your aperture to something numerically high (like F/8), shutter speed somewhere between 1/200th-1/320th of a second (depending on your needs and what the meter tells you as you point it toward the sky, NOT the subjects!)) and make sure that your subjects are between you and something like a setting sun and snap away.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Vanessa and mars

    Vanessa and mars TPF Noob!

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    Alright!
    Thanks so much for all the advice
    as soon as you metioned the metering
    I was like "Oh Yeah"
    Duh..
    I'll try it as soon as I have some nice lighting outside
    I'll post pics too if they come out looking good
    thanks again everyone!
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Point the camera at the sky (NOT directly at the sun!), press shutter down half way, most cameras tell you when its ready by letting out one beep. Do not lift finger, point camera towards your subjects, press the shutter the rest of the way down to take the picture... voila, a nice silhouette.
     

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