A small group of us decided to explore the shores of Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes. We began our walk from the stainless steel sculpture ‘Triple Star Head’ by Romanian sculptor Paul Neagu. This is a dramatic piece which catches the light and has interesting lines and openings. Against the sky it makes strong shapes and compositions.

Our walk turned out to be a marvellous opportunity for silhouettes and contre jour shots against the sparkling waters of the lake. The technique here is to use very short exposures, typically here ISO 100, f/11 and 1/2000s. This effectively retains the sparkling surface of the water while rendering intervening subjects dark or nearly black. You need to use trail and error, carefully examining your playback image for tonal values. Keep human figures or grasses sharp by focusing on them using a small point or box autofocus area. In this light the camera can focus far better than your eyes!

Water surfaces are ideal for contre jour – literally ‘against the light’, meaning a subject imaged against a very bright background or into direct sunlight. You may also get some glorious bokeh from the out of focus highlights. Give it a go!