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BUSHVELD SUNSET

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A TYPICAL SUNSET IN SOUTH AFRICA.
WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THE FULL SILHOUTTE IN BLACK.

Brand:NIKON CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D5000 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 G VR
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:18 May 2013 - 4:31 PM
Focal Length:36mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.4
Aperture:f/11.0
Shutter Speed:1/4000sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:1600
Exposure Mode:Manual
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:No Flash
White Balance:Auto
Title:BUSHVELD SUNSET
Username:Coen Coen
Uploaded:24 May 2013 - 7:42 PM
Tags:Wildlife / nature
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8752 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1577 Constructive Critique Points
25 May 2013 - 7:53 PM

The sky is very attractive, Coen, with the sun's rays coming from behind the cloud, and a slight hint of pink too.
When you say, "Would love to have the full silhouette in black", I am assuming that you don't want any of the foreground to be showing. In that case, I am surprised you used an ISO of 1600, which has brightened the ground. Also, if your Exif is correct, and you shot this at 4.31pm, I would suggest waiting until later, for a better silhouette, since the sun will be lower in the sky and the light on the ground will be less. Having said that, I don't find the foreground detail unattractive.
I think the tree is sufficiently well formed to provide an interesting silhouette against your sunset, but you don't need the part tree on the right side, it just acts as a distraction from the other one.
I see that you used a narrow aperture (high f/stop) so that the camera captured the whole scene in focus. A lot of people who use their automatic settings to shoot into the sun find that this throws their subject nicely into silhouette as the camera dials down the exposure to compensate for the bright background. If you meter the exposure for the background (the brightest part of the image) then you should be able to completely underexpose the foreground, or you could try using the ‘bracketing’ technique to get a variety of shots at slightly different exposures.
Instead of lighting the front of your subject, in silhouettes you need to ensure that there is more light shining from the background than the foreground of your shot. The perfect light for this is a sunset or sunrise. Here you have a cloud covering the sun, and perhaps your sky was not quite bright enough to get a full silhouette.
In my modification, I cropped, adjusted levels to enhance the colour and deepen the silhouette, but was still left with some detail at the bottom, though I don't find that unpleasant. In my second mod, I used a black paint brush to remove it.
Pamela.
PS: Sorry, uploaded the mods the wrong way round.

Last Modified By pamelajean at 25 May 2013 - 7:55 PM

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