'High-Key Silhouette' Photography
The weather and light conditions for the last week or so on the North Ayrshire coast in Scotland, has made it ideal to indulge in what I call 'high-key silhouette photography'. I'm not sure that there is such a genre, but I am quite fond of the effect.
Both the sky and the still sea have been almost white, and the hazy conditions has meant that it's been difficult to get any detail in the background when you shoot into the sun. However, when the sun sits low in the sky, you can position yourself with the bright light behind your subject in such a way that it (or they) are rendered black, even to the naked eye.
It can be quite tricky to get right, and I found that moving even ten paces to the left or right of the subject can lose the effect, and you get some colour on your subject. I just change my position until the subject blackens the way I want it. Then using spot metering (matrix works fine too), I lift my camera and expose on the bright, white-out sky, focus on the subject and get the shot!
A few test shots to get the settings just right may be necessary, but normally this technique works fine on any DSLR. It's a little easier using a mirrorless camera since looking through an electronic viewfinder means you immediately see the result as you make your adjustments.
Shooting in RAW, I did my black and white conversions in post-production, but it may be worth shooting in monochrome from the start, especially if you're shooting in JPEG.
Give it a go - it's definitely worth trying. Here are a few examples that I took on Sunday!
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Clive Larrett is a North Ayrshire Freelance Photographer