Our _Newsletter_

Our Newsletter

LSP Newsletter #26

May 2014  LSP Newsletter #26

Welcome to the May Newsletter.

Bookings for the Part Time Professional Photography Course starting in September are now open. The Part Time Course runs every Wednesday, from 10:30 to 16:30 for 6 months and is specially designed for those who wish to pursue a career in Photography.  

If you cannot commit to one day a week and prefer to tailor make your schedule, the Full Time Professional Photography Course will be the best choice. With workshops available during week days, weekends or evenings, you decide when you take the workshops, being able to complete the whole programme from 7 weeks to 6 months.

We send monthly newsletters with tips and news about photography and LSP. Win Workshop vouchers at  London School of Photography by submitting images to the Photo Assignments every month*.  

Photo Tip & Assignment #26 – Silhouette


We have already covered this topic on our first ever Newsletter, in February 2012. Since then our subscribers list has grown a lot and requests to talk about this again were frequently received. Silhouettes can result in extremely powerful photographs. The contrast between the bright and dark parts of the image will always be attractive to the human eye.

The most important thing to guarantee a great silhouette shot is is that the background is brighter than the foreground. Usually, silhouette pictures are taken against the light source, as in this picture by Steve McCurry (right) taken pointing the camera against the sun. But not always that needs to be the case.

Silhouettes can even be taken at night and indoors. As long as the background is brighter than the foreground creating contrast, it should work. (Image below left, by Bruno Barbey)

In the main image above, the church façade was frontally lit by the sun while the man in the foreground was in the shade. This situation created enough contrast for the silhouette. The metering has been done pointing the camera to the background, the brightest part of the scene. 

An important factor to get the effect right is correct exposure. Correct does not mean that the light meter will point null (zero). Silhouette pictures are often underexposed (light meter on minus) having predominantly shadows.

Trying to find the easiest way to control exposure, I came up with a quick “rule”. which I’m now sharing with you all: With a DSLR camera on Manual more, you can start by setting your ISO,  then choose an average aperture like f/5.6 to f/8 for example. Finally, adjust the shutter speed in order to get your light meter on zero (null) to start with. Take a picture and see how it looks.

If your image is too bright, that means you need less light, so start clicking your shutter speed dial to the right, two or three clicks at a time, and take another picture. Repeat this until you think your image is dark enough. That works the same for the aperture dial if you prefer as well.

On the other hand, if your picture comes out too dark, click the shutter speed dial (or the aperture one) to the left. Again, two or three clicks at a time, always checking how your pictures are, until you are satisfied with the result.

So the quick rule is: If you need more light, click dial to the left. If you need less light, click dial to the right (either the shutter speed or the aperture dials).

Observe to make sure this is happening with your camera. When you click to the left on your shutter speed dial, the shutter speed gets slow, therefore more light will get into the camera. When you click to the right you are increasing the shutter speed, making it fast, therefore less light will get into the camera.

Same works for the aperture dial. When you click to the right, you are closing the aperture (big f/number) and when you click to the left you are opening the aperture (small f/number), getting less or more light respectively.

Upload your SILHOUETTE IMAGES to the Flickr Gallery: ASSIGNMENT #26 for a chance to win an Evening Workshop Voucher at LSP*. Deadline: 31 May 2014.

Main Photo and Text: Luciana Franzolin. Other images by Steve McCurry and Bruno Barbey (Magnum Photos)

WINNER Assignment #25 – Rain

Congratulations to Johanna Furuhjelm, the winner of the  Newsletter Assignment #25 – Rain.

A very common scene for Londoners captured in a creative way through a window. The focus on the foreground (rain drops) blurred the background just enough to give the image an almost abstract feel. Beautiful!

Johanna wins an Open Date Voucher to attend an Evening Workshop at LSP (worth £295). Workshops included are: Evening Digital Photography Levels 1 and 2, Creative Photography, Career Coaching, Photoshop and Lightroom for Photographers. For a chance to win every month, follow the assignments and upload images to the respective Flickr Gallery.

May’s Assignment #26 is published above and the deadline to submit images is 31 May 2014. The winner will be announced on Newsletter #27 / June. Good luck to all!

EXHIBITION: 2014 Sony World Photography Awards


The Sony World Photography Awards are one of the world’s leading photography competitions, the exhibition showcases the winning and shortlisted photographers from the 139,000 submissions from across all disciplines, from fine art to photojournalism to lifestyle.

Reflecting the very best international contemporary photography from the last year, the exhibition includes photographs to suit all tastes.  Well-documented scenes are given a fresh look with ground-breaking photography styles and photographers of all abilities will be inspired to shoot their own view of the world.

Somerset House

1 – 18 May 2014

Saturday – Monday 10.00-18.00, Tuesday – Friday 10.00-21.00

£7.50 / £5 concessions