Silhouette Photography Tips
Add drama, evoke emotion, and convey the mood or story behind your images by creating stunning silhouettes.
Silhouette Photography Tips:
Silhouettes are an excellent technique that creates visual interest, pulling the viewer in and creating an emotional connection. Set against a bright background, the subject is bathed in shadow and rendered featureless; making for a powerful photograph. Incredibly moving, silhouettes are fairly easy to master with a little bit of practice. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Shoot in manual mode. Take creative control by shooting silhouettes in manual mode. Choose your ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and exposure according to what best fits your scene.
Choose bright backgrounds. Make your subject pop by choosing bright backgrounds. Silhouettes work best when your subject is backlit. Shooting outdoors during the Golden Hour – the hour or so after sunrise and before sunset – is most ideal.
Set your exposure for your background. Use spot metering and expose for your bright background in order to bathe your subject in shadow.
Choose a strong subject. Your subject should be strong, recognizable, and distinct – people, animals, skylines, etc. When shooting people and animals, make the most of their unique details by shooting them in profile.
Eliminate distracting elements. Avoid elements that overpower and takeaway from your subject by eliminating distracting elements when framing your shots.
Get creative. Experiment with different perspectives, focus, and add interesting elements into your shot. Freeze your subject in motion or, create a dreamy effect by shooting your subject out of focus.
Break the rules. Have fun – break the rules! Create visual interest and a bit of mystery by exposing so that your subject hasn’t completely lost all of its details.
Creating silhouettes can be so much fun! Get out there and experiment today!