Dramatic Photography with backlighting and the silhouette

Sunset over Mt. Rundle, Banff National Park, Alberta

Often as photographers we are fortunate to get those magical lighting situations, where the sky or background is stunningly lit, but the foreground is deep in the shadows.   This is when it’s time to really concentrate on the silhouette or backlit shot.  Sure if it’s a landscape you could bracket, or blend multiple exposures, or create a HDR image, but I often revert to a silhouette of the foreground, particularly with people or any movement in the image.  Silhouettes can be very dramatic, often creating a powerful visual statement.   So remember to expose for the background and give it a go.

This is a shot of a group of birdwatchers during fall migration, at Fort Whyte Centre in Winnipeg.  It was extremely dark and this shot was actually taken handheld at an aperture of 1.2, fast enough to freeze the birds in motion against the evening sky, but still include the birdwatchers in the foreground.

Woman strolling a Lake Winnipeg Pier at sunrise.

Fall harvest on the Canadian Prairie at sunset, near St. Leon, Manitoba.


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