Taking Silhouettes



Never shoot towards the light.” We’ve probably all heard this old photography “rule,” but, for now, let’s treat it more as a general guideline. If you want to shoot some photos that really pop, that really jump out and grab you—shoot towards the light.

Silhouettes are photos where your subject is dark against a bright background. Using a sunrise or sunset as the backdrop for your subject can give stunning results—your subject becomes a bold black figure against a canvas of bright and vivid colour.

When you use a bright and cloud filled sky as your background, your subject often doesn’t come out pure black, but comes across as dark and moody against a brooding sky.Read More

Tips by Al Sanchez

Don’t you just love silhouettes? If you’ve ever seen those detective movies you know what silhouettes are. The detective only shown as a dark figure talking is the silhouette. The silhouette photo is a great picture that can be very amazing and visually appealing. These photos can make for mysterious, commanding, gentle, and intriguing photos. It can be a great way to put emphasis on a subject.

The most common and easy way to use a silhouette is when there is a single primary subject of interest. This is the easiest way to light as you simply light it from behind the subject and thus the subject will be turned into a silhouette. Of course, you can try more creative things like having silhouettes of hundreds of people but that will be much more difficult.

When taking silhouette pictures the shape and form of your subject is critically important. You will not see any of the details within the subject and only see their outline. The lines of the subject become very prominent. When taking photos of people as silhouettes, it can be very useful as you are seeing them as lines and shapes. Taking these types of photos of people can greatly improve your photos of people and posing them properly.

The background of your silhouette is extremely important. If your background is as dark as the silhouette it will be very hard to see the subject. The background color should be somewhat contrasting to the silhouette. This will make the subject stand out.

When taking silhouette photos, try to keep everything simple. Think of simple concepts to portray in your images. Because the silhouette strips the subject of all details it is a much simpler form of photography. Taking a silhouette against the sky can work very great and you most likely don’t even need any extra lighting. Simply place the subject against the sky and the light will make them become dark and silhouetted where the sky will be fully visible.

Silhouette photos can be very emotional photos. It can show very conflicting and deep emotions such as fear, sadness, grief, etc.

To practice silhouette photos simply try looking at a subject and see their outline and shape. This will give you a good idea of what they will look like when silhouetted. If you want to practice

About the Author

Al Sanchez has a great program that teaches you how to take better photos. He also teaches people how to sell pictures online.


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