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on Dec 16, 2014

For the most part the best positioning for a photograph is when the sun is behind you and low on the horizon lighting your subject up in golden light. But we can flip this all the way around and put that beautiful golden light behind your subject and use this light to create a golden mood and silhouette around the animal.

For this particular photo, the dust from a thousand buffalo walking had become the perfect filter for the golden light of the setting sun. I positioned the sun off to the right of the frame so as not to blow any areas out as I wanted the buffalo correctly exposed in the image. I also waited for the one buffalo to walk along the top of the dam wall to get an eye level angle of the animal and also to allow some of the herd behind him to be in the picture so the viewer would get the idea of a herd.

12August2014 Backlit Buffalo

I was using a Nikon D3s with a Nikkor 80-400mm lens. The shutter speed was 1/320th of a second at an aperture of f5.6. In order to get a fast enough shutter speed I had pushed my ISO to 640. I then did a little bit of post-production in lifting some of the shadows, adding a little contrast, dropping the highlights and pushing the saturation up to enhance the golden glow. Any post-production I did was in order to achieve an accurate representation of what my eye saw.

Expose your balance

Richard de Gouveia

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