A common photography problem: dark silhouettes in digital photos
Digital cameras are becoming more and more sophisticated. On one hand they allow high quality automatic point and shoot. On the other hand they allow full manual control of their settings. Regardless of the mode you use there are some scenes that require special care. Without such care your digital photos will be of poor quality regardless of how sophisticated and automatic your camera is.
New digital cameras include sophisticated hardware and software that allow a simple point a shoot usage and result in high quality digital photos. Such high quality digital photos are achieved in most scenarios but in some scenarios solely relying on the cameras automatic feature is not enough. In such scenes the camera hardware and software will make the wrong decision as to the optimal camera setting for the best digital photo. The result will be a poor quality photo.
Being aware of such scenarios can help in avoiding such poor quality digital photos. When you identify such a scenario you can use some simple techniques, by manually setting the camera, by changing the photo shooting angle or by manipulating the scene.
One of the common problems with automatic digital camera photo shooting is digital photos that include dark silhouettes in them. Dark Silhouettes appear when you are taking digital photos in a scene with a bright light source behind the object. An example of such a scene is when the sun is behind the object. The result will be a digital photo that includes a dark silhouette of the object. One scene that is very likely to result in such a problem is when taking a photo of someone on the beach against a sunset. The result will be a dark silhouette of the person with a good photo of the sunset in the background. Dark silhouettes are a result of the camera setting the wrong exposure. Because of the bright background the camera sets a low exposure and the object that are not lit from their front are severely underexposed.
The dark silhouettes in the digital photo can be eliminated by simply using the camera’s fill-in flash. When taking a photo with the fill-in flash turned on the flash lights the object making sure that it is captured with all its details. Use a fill-in flash when taking pictures of objects with a bright light source behind them. One limitation of this solution is that the objects must be within the flash effective range – otherwise the flash is useless and they will still appear as silhouettes in the photo.
The best way to learn how to avoid dark silhouettes in digital photos is by experimenting and practicing. Try to find scenes that will confuse the digital camera into taking dark silhouettes digital photos. Take a few digital photos using the camera automatic mode and review the results confirming the expected poor quality. Now correct the problem and take a few more photos. Review the new digital photos and make sure that indeed the dark silhouettes problem is gone. Practicing in a controlled environment will help you be prepared to quickly and efficiently handle such scenes in real time photo shooting.
Danette Mckay wrote this article. More articles and information on