In looking at some photos on the web today, I noticed a lot of silhouetted photos on the beach that really made me think about how little I have seen this in our local photography. So after doing some looking into my own images, I realized that I have done some of this, but really not enough lately, so I thought I would post some basic thoughts in creating a nice silhouette.
- The basic idea is to place a strong subject in front of the bright light, which can be a person, tree, building, animal, whatever it is that interest you.
- Make sure you great light behind your subject, and that light needs to be brighter than the light hitting your subject from the front, or foreground light.
- It helps it you have a nice plain background, no clutter, nothing that could distract your viewers eye from leaving the main subject in your image.
- Do not use any flash from your camera. You are trying to make your subject go black in the image, although you will want some detail, but just enough so that you know what the subject is.
- The most difficult part is the exposure. Use spot metering, and point it at the brightest part of the image, as this will under-expose your subject. If your subject is too bright still, either speed up the shutter speed or change the aperture. So if your aperture is currently at f8, adjust to f11. And then just continue to adjust to you get the image you are looking for.
Making a silhouette can lead to a great image, both in bright daylight, or even at sunrise or sunset. So get out there and make some images, and if you need additional inspiration or assistance, check out our workshop schedule at the SCV Center for Photography via our website www.scvphotocenter.com.