Photo Stories

Photo Story: Sunset at Agra Fort

Sunsets are beautiful and a lot of fun to photograph.  This sunset was taken at Agra Fort in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Sunset at Agra Fort

Sunset at Agra Fort

One technique in photographing sunsets and sunrises is to silhouette a unique subject against the setting or rising sun.  In this case, the scalloped, concrete wall of Agra Fort serves as the silhouette for the setting sun.

There are a couple key elements in photographing a successful sunset silhouette.  First, your subject needs to be backlit by the sunset.  Second, meter the exposure on the bright part of the image, not the subject.  This will leave your subject as a silhouette.

For a good silhouette photograph, the subject should be a unique, recognizable, or interestingly shaped object.  This will help to add interest to the photograph.

Silhouette photographs are also very easy to post process.  Here are a couple of enhancements you may want to consider when post processing a silhouette.

  • Darken the shadows to make sure there are no distracting elements in the silhouette.
  • Increase the saturation to make the color of the sunset stand out.
  • Remove any distracting sun spots or lens flare.

Details

Camera:  Olympus OM-D E-M1
Lens:   Olympus 12-50mm f3.5-6.3
Focal Length: 41mm
ISO:  400
Aperture:   f/10
Shutter Speed: 1/3200 of a second
Exposure Compensation: -7/10
Lighting: Bright, clear evening

Processing

  • Cropped the photo in Lightroom 5
  • Applied the Film Efex: Vintage and Vignette: Lens Filters in Color Efex Pro 4.
  • Darkened the shadows using the Shadows Slider in Lightroom 5.
  • Reduced the noise in the photo using the Noise Reduction slider in Lightroom 5.
  • Used the Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop CC 2014 to clean up a sun spot on the silhouette.

Written by Martin Belan

Related Blog Posts
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The Story Behind the Photo:  Backlit Winter Branch
The Story Behind the Photo:  500mm Sunset

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