In time for the weekend here is episode 3 of my “Instant Inspirations”. Why not try to take an image that features silhouettes, if you look for something to overcome “Photographer’s Block” or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried or at least not recently? For a bit of how-to, a few more of my silhouette photos and links to episodes 1 and 2 of “Instant Inspirations” continue reading after the jump…..
Silhouettes are a cool way to bring some drama and emotions into your images. A Silhouette consists of a clearly defined and typically black foreground shape (can be a person, an animal or any objects) in front of a bright background, that can be either monochrome or full of vibrant colors. The better the outline of the black shape stands out from the backlighting, the better the image works. If your main subject are persons it is better to show them in their profile, as more complex features will draw the viewer more into the image than indistinctly shapes.
The important thing is to expose for the background, so the brightness of it will render the texture of your subject black. For shooting silhouettes I usually use spot metering (instead of evaluative metering). It is important to nail the focus, so the subject is sharp. Focussing on the edge of the subject works usually great, because the contrast difference allows easy locking in of the autofocus. I typically shoot with a smaller aperture as I want to make sure the outlines of my subject’s shape are all in focus as well as the background details against which you place your subject.
So next time you want to do something against your photographers block or just want to try something new, take your camera (or smartphone; the image of the people taking a drink at the top of the post I took with my iPhone), go out and try to capture photographs with silhouettes. You are invited to show your results by posting a link in the comment section. Go out and have fun!
Have a great weekend! Marcus