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FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 31 of 52

Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light

John Greengo

FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

31. Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light


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Photographic Characteristics


Camera Types


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Shutter Speed Basics


Camera Settings Overview


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Sensor Size: Basics


Focal Length


Lesson Info

Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light

So one of the other things that you can do it sunrise and sunset, especially with that twilight background, is doing silhouette shots and these air really good shots in my mind. Because they're simple, they're easy to understand their sometimes very graphic and visual. They work well in small sizes, and so any time you have something with significant shapes with that color in the background, whether it's twilight or ranging to the oranges and the reds, it's gonna look really, really good. And so this will work in natural environments in our city environments as well. It typically for a fairly brief time, is to when you get that right mix of that twilight color, and you do need to be in that open terrain so that you can see the sky. And so just look for your distinctive shapes, and you want his distinctive shape as you can and the best color you can, and you will need to under expose. And this is one of those areas where you need to under exposed by at least 2/3 of a stop. Usually minus...

one is where you're going to need to be on these sometimes minus two, depending on how dark it ISS. And so this is, I think I remember if this is in Mali camel trade, moving salt back and forth. Gasworks Park in Seattle Great sunset. I was in a was in where was I? And Colorado in this case, and I was looking for a view point where I could see where the sun was, and I was kind of stuck in this burned out forests. But then, I realized, await the forest actually makes for a really nice silhouette against these colors on the ST Charles Bridge and Prague. Those shapes that nice blue in the background. Now one of things you might have noticed from that last shot is the starburst from the lights there. And so a lot of people have kind of wondering, what was that natural on what's going on? And it's kind of artificial. It's added by the camera and the aperture and the lens in the camera, and so it's adds a nice little just extra flair, sparkle to the photograph. And so if you do want to get this starburst in your photographs, there's a couple of ways that you can but make some adjustments in your camera to really make it show up. First up, it's gonna happen when you stop your aperture down farther in the 11 F 22 range. Typically, the more you stop it down, the more significant that starboard Starburst is going to be. Now you'll notice in this photograph very easily that you can see the starburst on the bottom half and not on the top half. And that's because you have a dark background. Lights are going to show up very more easily in front of a dark background, then lights on a light background, and so you need that light in front of something dark. And so you need to find dark objects that you can put around the sun so it's kind of peeking out around. You can't just get it with the sun high up in the sky, and it tends to work better with wide angle lenses as well. And so it just an adds a nice little extra element in a photograph. And so it's something that it could be overused. I guess you can come become a cliche, but it's it's a nice little extra element that I like to have and will cause me to sometimes stop down a little bit further than I need for other reasons in depth of field. I'm just trying to go for more of a starburst on it. What's interesting is that the starburst that you get can look quite different from one lens to the next to the next. And this has to do with how the lenses built and what's going on in the lens, because this is a direct relationship to the apertures and where they are and what they're doing in the lens. And so some lenses have 56 or seven player blades. Some have more. Some have less. But what's gonna happen is where those intersections are is causing those bursts of lines or the concentration of lines. And so what's happening is that with five blades, you're gonna get thes five rays coming out. But a funny thing about way lenses work is that you're also going to get light rays coming out the opposite of those directions as well. And so, with five blades, you are actually going to get 10 points to your star now with six when they go in the opposite direction, they're going the exact direction of another blade there. So with six and uneven number, it's sex again. And so it always ends up being in an even number of star points. But it may vary depending on how many blades you have in your camera, so seven then becomes 14 points, and so it always ends up in an even number of points. And so here's examples from those types of lenses right there. And so that's why you'll get a different look to the Starburst. And so, once again that C In this case, we're shooting at F 11. It's with a 50 millimeter lens. You don't have to have a wide angle lens, but it could be become a little bit more easily seen there. Once again, you're not seen it on the top half because light against light just isn't very easy to see. But light against dark can be much more easily seen. So if you do want to see this, the idea is to kind of obscure the sun in this little tiny point that you can get it to kind of come through. And so if you can find a little pin point for the sun to shine through, you're going to get a more distinctive starburst, and you can get Starburst obviously with other light sources as well. And each lens will have its own starburst quality. I haven't seen too many lens reviews that rate lenses on their starburst quality, but I think if they want oh, those lens reviewers out there wanna add another category? I think that'd be a good category. I'd like to know how well that does.

Class Description


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As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential. 

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