You can add a little drama to your pictures by photographing subjects in silhouette. Silhouette photography entails the removal of detail and texture in a scene resulting in a simple, bold shape on a bright background. So how exactly are silhouette images taken? If you want to broaden your knowledge in this subject. Darren Rowse at Digital Photography School has some very helpful tips on how to shoot silhouettes titled, How to Photograph Silhouettes in 8 Easy Steps. This tutorial details the areas that need to be considered when shooting in silhouettes as well as some techniques such as metering and exposure. Basically, when aiming for silhouettes, you have to put your subject (the shape you want to be blacked out) in front of some source of light and to force your camera to set its exposure based upon the brightest part of your picture (the background) and not the subject of your image. Sunrise and sunset provide excellent silhouette lighting, with the clouds adding texture and interest to the sky. It is also possible to get some great silhouettes against harsh sunlight, or even artificial lighting.
You do not need a digital SLR camera to take silhouette photos. Yes, you can also use your point and shoot to take beautiful silhouettes. Just always remember to turn off your flash!
To get you inspired in shooting your silhouette photos, here are 25 excellent examples of silhouette photography taken by professional photographers. Make sure to check each link provided below each preview image to view the high-resolution version of these images and get the technical specifications and the stories behind each shot. More pictures can also be viewed from the portfolio of each photographer. We encourage you to browse through their portfolio for more inspiring photographs. Enjoy!
If you like this post, then please also checkout our related posts on Photography tips and tutorials:
01- Symphony of Colors
02-Two Cops, Two Bikes
It was windy up top, and the spray created some great shapes against the sun…
05- Silhouette Shooter
06- Luis and the Balloons
07- End of the Day
08- World’s Favorite Sport
09- Whitechapel, London, England
10- Sunrise Paddling on the North Canadian River
11- Snow has Gone
12- Beach Hammock
15- Bay Bridge Silhouette
17- In a Different Light
18- Sunset Silhouette
19- Net Work
20- Cable Beach Sunset
21- The Seam Seeker
22- Tangerine Dream
23- She Takes Her Shoes Off To Dance
24- Follow the Light
25- Symphony of Colors
Backlighting in photography has other uses other than creating silhouettes. Using correct techniques and camera settings, you will be able to shoot translucent objects and hair lights. If you are interested, check out our previous post about backlighting in photography.