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Creating a Silhouette

Haiti.  Monday, June 28, 2010.

These two images were shot in an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camp in Port Au Prince Haiti. There was late afternoon light which hit the tent and gave it a nice glow. I do not remember exactly what I did technically because I was more focused on the moment than my camera′s technical settings. So to figure it out after the fact, I just looked at my metadata, which you can see easily in programs such as PhotoMechanic For both images below I was using a 17-35 nikon zoom lens.

0_20090628_jbl_Haiti_0734.jpg

© Jessica Lifland

For the silhouette of Anide, above, my camera was set with iso of 1000, fstop 2.8 on aperture priority, shutter speed 200th/s.  For the camera′s light meter, the brightness of the tent overpowers her form so the camera thinks it must bring down the exposure to expose for the tent thus underexposing the form of the Anide. This is great if it a silhouette is the intended effect.

20090628_jbl_Haiti_0815.jpg

© Jessica Lifland

The picture of Peterson and his sister in the door of the tent was shot in manual mode. The two images are about 70 frames apart in the take and somewhere in between them, I switched to manual mode. I must have figured I′d get another silhouette since he is backlit too, but here I wanted detail in the foreground.  The exposure here is iso 800, fstop 4.5 @ 320th/s shutter speed.  Both images were shot in RAW mode and converted to black and white in Lightroom afterwards.


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