Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA  

Silhouetted Against the Stars by Bob Benson, FPSA, EPSA

January 2022 - Silhouetted Against the Stars

About the Image(s)

From my short trip to Arizona previously, here is another Cowboy picture. This was outside in complete dark, except for one flashlight directly behind the subject. I cropped this to eliminate the rest of the horse, where there was practically no information. Very little adjustments were necessary due to the type of exposure, but I did blend in a starry sky. I used Topaz Denoise because the ISO was very high. Since there was very little color, I converted it to B&W, and tinted it on the blue side, which I thought was more fitting for the night image.
1/50 sec at f4, 56 mm on tripod, 12800 ISO

7 comments posted

Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
WOW!! I don't think that you can get anything better than this. It has tension, it tells a story, and it's perfectly lit (I can see a hint of the horse's eye). Also, nothing to improve in terms of composition. This is a top-notch photo just with a dark background, but the starry sky adds an extra element to enhance the picture.   Posted: 01/10/2022 19:02:47
Bob Benson   Bob Benson
Thanks. With an image like this it is difficult to know what kind of reaction it will get. This is one of the reasons I like the study group- to get feedback.   Posted: 01/10/2022 21:31:21

Christine Perry   Christine Perry
Huge fan of silhouetted images... Very nice! This tells a wonderful story of a relationship between a cowboy and his horse with great composition elements! The one flashlight behind the subject gives just enough of an outline to give a mysterious mood to both the cowboy and horse. Horse has bit of a catch light in its eye! I can still see quite a bit of noise, though. Hard to gain clarity without much light. With such a high ISO, it's so difficult to remove all the noise even with great programs such as Topaz Denoise or On1 NoNoise AI. The starry sky definitely adds another layer of interest and texture.   Posted: 01/11/2022 04:41:32

Anges van der Logt   Anges van der Logt
This is a difficult image to take without too much noise indeed. You could have used a lower ISO maybe if you could have asked the man to be still for some time, but I do not know about the horse ;)

I like that the image has rim light and even though without much detail it tells a story and is storytelling enough. Not sure about blending in the night sky, not such a fan of sky replacement, but it suits the mood. Well done!   Posted: 01/12/2022 01:34:00

Mervyn Hurwitz   Mervyn Hurwitz
Bob, I find this image particularly creative. The rim light on the edge of both faces, with the hair around the horses mouth beautifully highlighted, and the rope so perfectly illuminated.
The noise does not bother me as I would expect some noise at this ISO.
How did you hide the source of the flashlight?   Posted: 01/12/2022 10:49:20
Bob Benson   Bob Benson
Hiding the flashlight turned out to be the easiest part; I just had to align myself so that it was hidden, and flare was not out of control. Exposure took a little trial and error. (Thank goodness for digital camera screens.)   Posted: 01/12/2022 11:41:26

Andy Patterson
My first reaction, before I read any other comments, was WOW! That is an amazing image. I still think that. I love the lighting, yet to me it still has great detail--of course not in the shadows, but everything is clear that needs to be. Grain/noise doesn't bother me in the least--I think this would be fine if it were noisier. Well done!   Posted: 01/13/2022 23:35:14


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