CAP RE THE DETAIL IN SUNLIT WHEN YOU TAKE A SHOT, YOU DON’T
photograph the subject itself – you photograph the light that falls on it.Keep this idea in the back of your mind, and new avenues of photography suddenly start opening up before your eyes. Beautiful light means beautiful pictures, however ordinary a subject may be.With the right lighting, something as simple as a leaf reveals an intricate word of patterns and detail, and if you can surround it with a glowing halo, you’ll bag a fabulous nature shot that’s a delight to view. Provided you can get close to the subject and place the sun directly behind it, shots like these can be achieved with any camera and a standard zoom.On the technical side, you need to ensure that the leaf fully obscures the sun, and to err on the side of caution, use your camera’s Live View mode, so you don’t get dazzled by direct sunlight through the viewfinder. Getting the perfect exposure can be trickywith such dramatic backlighting, so shoot in RAW format. Thatway, you can fine tune your exposure when you’re back at the computer.
SHOOT IT NOW
1- Set up your camera
Set your exposure mode to Aperture priority (A or Av) and make sure the ISO setting is at its lowest value. Select your RAW format and frame up using Live View with the active AF point the leaf. Dial in an aperture of f/5.6 or f/8. The shutter speed will be very fast – we got a setting of 1/4000sec. If the shutter is out of range, choose a smaller aperture like f/11 or f/16.
2- Take a brace of shots
Take several shots, all the time looking to get the halo as even as possible around the rim of the leaf. Check the results on screen, and make sure you can see some detail in both the leaf and the sky. If you need to make your shot darker, hold down the +/- button and dial in -1.0 of Exposure Compensation before reshooting. To make it brighter, dial in +1.0. Keep shooting until you have an evenly lit, well-exposed pic – it won’t tak e you long.
3- Process the RAW
Adobe Camera Raw will launch when the shot is opened into Photoshop or Elements. Under the Basic tab, set Shadows to +100 to boost detail, and reduce Highlights to -100 to compress the bright sky. After that, adjust the Whites and Blacks to introduce the amount of contrast you want. Tweak Exposure to obtain a balanced pic,and to get more blue in the sky, move Temperature a little to the left. Finally, to increase definition, push up Clarity.