LEARN HOW TO DO AMAZING SILHOUETTE PHOTOS:

silhouette of woman standing on the shore
Photo by Balazs Simon on Pexels.com

Silhouettes are one photo that everybody seems to like. It is like a mystery photograph. It seems easy to take: just take a picture of the sunset, and have someone enter the picture, and they will be dark, while the sunset stays beautiful.

Here are some other tips on how to make them even better:

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH SILHOUETTES:

Before heading out to shoot silhouettes, make sure you have a camera that lets you adjust the exposure. In other words, you should be able to brighten and darken the photo at will.

(All modern DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have this functionality and so do most smartphones.)

1- CHOOSE A STRONG SUBJECT:

Photo by Lanny Cottrell Photography – 123photogo

Make sure that the subject in your silhouette is something that people will recognize. A person, a tree, a child, your car, whatever, but, make sure it’s recognizable. Don’t put something in there so small that only you know what it is.

2- TURN OFF YOUR FLASH

Whether you are using a camera or a cell phone, take your camera off auto-flash mode. To create the effect you want, you don’t want any light on the front subject.

3- GET YOUR LIGHT RIGHT

silhouette of man and woman standing on rock formation during sunset
Photo by Thái Huỳnh on Pexels.com

When it comes to lighting your subject, you’ll need to throw out a lot of what you’ve learned about normal photography and think a little backward.

Instead of lighting the front of your subject, you need to ensure that there is more light shining from the background than the foreground of your shot.

4- FRAME YOUR IMAGE

Most people like their subject right in front of the main light. There are exceptions of course. Look at the beautiful image of the wedding couple above. That is not in front of the sun, but off to the side. This creates a beautiful effect as well. Here is one where the subject is right in front of the main light:

silhouette photography of man and woman
Photo by Gabriel Bastelli on Pexels.com

5- TRY USING YOUR CAMERA IN AUTO MODE

With today’s cameras and cell phones, it seems the auto mode knows that this is a sunset, or bright light in the background. So, automatic may work for you. Give it a try and see if that makes things easier for you:

silhouette photo of man standing on seashore
Photo by Athena on Pexels.com

6- SILHOUETTES CAN BE CREATED WITH OTHER FORMS OF LIGHT

Photo by Sajjad Ahmadi on Unsplash

The usual silhouette is usually done with the sun as the background light. But, you can create silhouettes with artificial lighting. As long as the light you use is the background, and facing your subject. This light will usually need to be fairly strong too, and make sure, also, that there is no foreground light on the main subject.

artsy back view silhouette photo of woman standing in front of neon lit room
Photo by Ali Müftüoğulları on Pexels.com

CONCLUSION:

A wonderful type of photography. Now you know all the rules, go ahead and try these steps. And if you want to share any of your photos, check this out:

Published by 123photogo

I have been a photographer for many years. Worked in retail selling cameras and accessories for over 20 years. Taught many photo classes, and have even been a judge in several county fairs. Now, I want to share photo instructions and entertainment with all other photographers around the world.

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