3.11. Twilight Portraits
Twilight is a magic time for photographers. The setting sun bathes the landscape in a warm glow, providing a beautiful backdrop for portraits. This is an ideal time to shoot any type of shot.
First, you'll need a tripod or some other means to steady the camera. There's far less light during this time of day, and therefore the shutter slows down considerably.
Now inspect your camera's flash options. Look for an option called either Slow-synchro or Nighttimea setting that synchronizes your flash with the very slow shutter. Look for a "stars and mountain" or "stars and person" icon.
Now position your model in front of the most beautiful part of the landscape and take the picture.
When you push the button, the camera opens the shutter long enough to compensate for the dim twilight lighting, capturing all of the rich, saturated colors. The flash, meanwhile, throttles down, emitting just enough light to illuminate the subject from the front.
The result can be an incredibly striking image that will make your travel pictures the talk of the office. It's a great technique when shooting somebody standing in front of illuminated monuments and buildings at night, sunsets over the ocean, and festive nighttime lighting.
Tip: If your subject is rendered too bright ( overexposed by the flash), move back a few feet, zoom in, and try again. Conversely, if your subject is too dark ( underexposed by the flash), move in a couple of feet.
3.12. Landscape and Nature
Unlike portraiture, where you have to arrange the lights and the models, landscape photography demands a different discipline: patience. Nature calls the shots here. Your job is to be prepared and in position.
3.12.1. Shoot with Sweet Light
Photographers generally covet the first and last two hours of the day for shooting (which half explains why they're always getting up at five in the morning). The lower angle of the sun and the slightly denser atmosphere create rich, saturated tones, as well as what photographers call sweet light.
It's a far cry from the midday sun, which creates much harsher shadows and much more severe highlights. Landscape shooting is more difficult when the sun is high overhead on a bright, cloudless day.
3.12.2. Layer Your Lights and Darks
Ansel Adams, the most famous American landscape photographer, looked for scenes in sweet light that had alternating light and dark areas. As you view one of these pictures from the bottom of the frame to the top, you might see light falling on the foreground, then a shadow cast by a tree, then a pool of light behind the tree, followed by more shadows from a hill, and finally an illuminated sky at the top of the composition.
A lighting situation like this creates more depth in your pictures (and, yes, lets you "shoot like Ansel").
3.12.3. Highlight a Foreground Object with Flash
Sometimes you can lend nature a helping hand by turning on your flash to illuminate an object in the immediate foreground. Remember, just because your eyes can see detail in the dark area at the bottom of the frame doesn't mean that your camera can. Look for an interesting objecta bush, perhaps. Move the camera close to it and zoom out. Then turn on the flash and shoot. The effect can be stunning.