Photographing people during magic
hour can also make an interesting statement. To say "romance," you
can shoot a picture of a couple holding hands while walking on the beach. Foreground
subjects become silhouettes when photographed against a dusky sky, so look for
clean and recognizable shapes. Exposing for silhouettes is easy. Point-and-shoot
cameras have averaging meters, so simply place your viewfinder over the brightest
area in the scene, and use your exposure-lock feature (if your camera has one)
to hold that exposure in place.
On partly cloudy evenings, the sky may be briefly illuminated with color a few
minutes after the sun has set, creating a sort of afterglow in the sky. Be sure
to anticipate this if you see interesting clouds around sunset.
By turning your automatic flash off, you can get great effects,
such as this child illuminated by a single candle.
Reader photo by Anna Dorrance, Leawood, KS
If your camera allows you to use
a long time exposure (even putting your camera on its landscape mode can yield
a longer exposure), you can record patterns of moving lights after dark that
can't be seen by the human eye. Cars are great subjects for this photo
technique. Go to a location where the ambient light isn't too strong and
where you have an unobstructed view of moving traffic, such as a pedestrian
bridge over a freeway. It's a good idea to use a slow- or medium-speed
film (like ISO 100--200), or the equivalent ISO setting if you're
shooting digitally. You'll also want to use a tripod or something steady
on which to brace your camera. Set your camera on the longest exposure it will
allow, and try to capture the streaks of a single vehicle or several cars. You'll
be surprised at the results!
A long exposure allowed this photographer to capture streaks of
light on a Ferris wheel after dark.
Reader photo by Andrew Romaneschi, Honolulu, HI
Readers are encouraged to submit
photos to our monthly Point & Shoot HomeWork Assignment feature. Please
see the table of contents for the location of the entry coupon, which lists
topics and more details.