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Tips For Photographing Silhouettes This Winter

Here are some top tips for photographing silhouettes with your Tamron lens this winter.

|  Landscape and Travel
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Lake Mountain silhouette

Image by David Clapp

The low position of the sun in winter makes it a perfect time to shoot silhouettes. You just need to find a bright background (the sky's perfect) and the right subject to give you a shot with serious impact.

A tripod will be ideal to offer stability while you frame your shots. As there's no textures or tones to grab people's attention strong subjects that are instantly recognisable work the best. In winter, wildlife (deer in particular) work well. Even more so if you're shooting on a cold morning when the breath can be seen in the air. The bare, skeletal-like trees that cover our landscape at this time of year also work well as subjects for winter silhouettes. Higher up, turn rolling hill sides into dark shapes that curve across your shot. Fog can help add interest and contrast to the shot and exposing for the lighter, foggy parts of the shot will give you the silhouetted hillsides you're looking for.

You need a bright background for this technique to work and the sky, particularly when there's a colourful sunrise, works particularly well. You can also use a large expanse of water if you live near a lake or the coast too.

To create a silhouette, expose for the brighter background rather than your subject as by doing so your subject will underexpose, appearing very dark if not fully black. Using the spot or centre-weight light measurement modes on your camera should give you the results you're looking for or you can use exposure compensation and select -1 or -2 to deliberately underexpose your shot.

Try to position your subject in front of the sun when you're framing up as you should never look through the camera directly at the sun as you can permanently damage your eyes. If you want the sun to be in frame, use the Live View feature so you can frame up safely.

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