Silhouettes In Nature
I love to photograph at dawn and dusk. I also love the light when the sun hovers near the horizon. If there are clouds in the sky, the color can be magnificent. If the sky is clear just before the sun rises or after it sets, the cobalt blue color provides a wonderful backdrop. Shooting into this light means it's time to turn your thoughts to silhouettes. If you try to reveal detail in a subject, you'll lose the intensity, drama and color in the sky. So, expose for the sky and let your subject go black. The drama it produces can be very rewarding.
COMPOSITION and EXPOSURE: If the sky has extreme drama, zoom out and have the clouds dominate. Shoot verticals and horizontals and place the subject in the rule of thirds. For the sake of diversity, zoom the lens to its telephoto setting to place the emphasis on the silhouette. Be careful how you meter. The more space the silhouetted area takes up in the composition, the more you'll need to compensate to the minus side to maintain detail and color in the sky. Check the histogram and LCD to see how much is necessary. Work quickly and efficiently as the color doesn't last long. Bracket to help ensure you get the result you want. Be sure to cover the necessary depth of field. Stop the lens down and make the photo. Zoom into the image on the LCD to make sure the subject and sky hold focus. If one or the other is soft, close down more. Chromatic aberrations show up more readily around a silhouette, so be sure to zoom into the image at 100% and correct any outline of color in post-processing.