Silhouettes

expert-advice-camera-header_Gagan_Silhouettes

Firstly congratulations to mhunt for winning February’s ‘Candid Moments’ photo challenge competition. A special thanks to Panasonic Global and LUMIX Ambassador Ross Grieve for judging February’s photo challenege competition. Don’t forget this month’s winner will be announced at the start of April, so make sure you submit your entry before the closing date of 31st March to be in with a chance of winning!

For this month’s Expert Advice article we have invited LUMIX Ambassador and professional photographer, Gagan Sadana, set himself the task of taking Silhouettes

GaganSadanaFirst of all, let me introduce myself. My name is Gagan Sadana and I am a professional street photographer. I have been a LUMIX user for more than a year now and I’ve been asked to write this month’s Expert Advice article setting the theme for the Photo Challenge. I hope you will all enter the competition for the chance to win a great prize – please send me your best shot!

Switching to a LUMIX G camera from a DSLR was one of the best things that I’ve done in my photography career. Street photography is my genre of choice for the simple reason that nothing is staged. As a street photographer, you never know what you’re going to find and also you have to work with the natural or the available light. Which brings me to the theme for the competition this month – Silhouettes.

To make this month’s Photo Challenge a bit… well, challenging, I am going to ask you to submit silhouettes taken outside the studio – but in any outdoor location of your choosing. It could be anywhere you like – town or country, at home or abroad. Wherever you find yourself in the position to capture a really good silhouette shot.

In addition, the main subject of your entry should be a person or people, please. This still leaves things wide open for your own interpretation and creativity, of course – for a start, your shot can be either in colour or in black-and-white (see my examples, below). As is well-established with the Photo Challenge, when it comes down to it, it’s really entirely up to you.

Alright, let’s look at some of the pictures that I’ve shot and have had reproduced here to provide some inspiration – and, hopefully, get you thinking about submitting an entry of your own.

Photograph No. 1 by Gagan Sadana

Camera DMC-GX7 Lens F1.7 20mm Aperture 1.7 ISO 1600 Shutter Speed 1/2000

To achieve a silhouette, your subject must be backlit and, if you are out in the open, then the best time of the day is therefore either dawn or dusk, when the sun is at its lowest. Depending upon the light, you still will be able to see some details of the subject. Here is when I reach for my most frequently used button, exposure compensation. I usually dial down the exposure compensation by one or two stops, depending on the light. I urge you to experiment with this function for yourselves!

Photograph No. 2 by Gagan Sadana

Camera DMC-G7 Lens G VARO 14-42/F3.5-5.6 Aperture 3.6 ISO 200 Shutter Speed 1/1000

The shot above was taken just outside London’s Waterloo station, where I could take advantage of the light coming in through the large windows. To ensure that I could include one of the passing cyclists, I shot at a low viewpoint and waited for the right moment.

For stationary subjects, a couple of shots might be enough to capture a great silhouette, but where the subject is fast-moving, try using the Burst mode. Or, if you have a camera that has the 4K Photo function, use that and there is no way you will miss the shot!

Here is one I took using 4K Photo on my LUMIX G7, straight from the camera (don’t worry – no-one was hurt!):

Photograph No. 3 by Gagan Sadana

Camera DMC-G7 Lens G VARO 14-42/F3.5-5.6 Aperture 3.6 ISO 200 Shutter Speed 1/1000

As you can see from the photographs here, all the subjects have a very clear outline – and that’s really the goal with a silhouette shot. You can include any number of people in your own photos, as long as they don’t overlap too much, as this would detract from the effect. Remember to observe the light and try different angles. Think about those lovely crisp edges!

It could be that you are able to find a place where there is a constant flow of people through the scene. Grab the opportunity to take numerous shots and, when editing (I don’t mean post-processing), choose the image where the outline is truly clear. I mostly use a 20mm lens, but have now started experimenting with an 8mm fisheye, because an ultra-wide angle can sometimes give a better perspective, I find.

This next shot was taken at an exhibition hall in London using an 8mm fisheye lens fitted to my LUMIX GX8:

Photograph No. 4 by Gagan Sadana

Camera DMC-GX8 Lens G Fisheye8/F3.5 Aperture 3.5 ISO 3200 Shutter Speed 1/40

So, get out there and shoot some cracking silhouettes! Then, please do send me your best shot, with a bit of background information in the email – think of those great prizes up for grabs. I can’t wait to judge my first Panasonic LUMIX Photo Challenge! And if you are on Twitter, then why not tweet your shot as well? Remember, please, to include the handles @LumixUK and @GaganSPhoto (that’s me!) to further share your images, after you have uploaded them to the LUMIX G Experience community.

 

All the best – and have fun out there,

Gagan

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