When the opportunity presents itself, there's nothing more fun -- or more challenging -- than taking a good silhouette photo. Whether you're a professional photographer trying to please a client, or even if you're a hobbyist who enjoys grabbing those occasional breathtaking sunsets with your children, knowing how to utilize this fun photo technique can bring your work up to a whole new level. The crisp contrast of a subject against a stunning background can make a great work of art for proud display on anyone's wall.
While it may seem like a difficult technique for those new to it, it's actually quite simple when you have an idea of what you're doing. Kathy from Photodex lays out some straightforward, effective tips for getting that cool silhouette shot the next time you're out and the opportunity presents itself. She even gives some tips for using your cell phone so that you can always be ready to grab those shots that make people go "wow!"
Let's get to it!
Looking to try a fun photography technique? Taking a silhouette photo isn’t difficult even though it may come across that way. It’s simple, conveys a dramatic and mysterious emotion, and grabs your attention.
Check out 5 basic tips to help you achieve a simple silhouette photo.
- Light Behind Subject: In order for this to work, your light source has to be behind your subject. Try taking the photo around sunrise/sunset, or simply position your subjects in front or around the sun, or you can even take it inside against a window with good lighting. There’s tons of ways to take a great silhouette photo and these are just a few.
- Make the Silhouette Distinct: Make sure you give your subject(s) enough space to notice all the details like the outlines of their body features like face, arms, legs, etc. It’s also helpful not to have any distractions during an action shot or still image. This way the silhouettes don’t blend with each other and you can carefully capture the main focus and it’s recognizable. If you do have anything in the background just make sure you position your subject in a way that it will still pop or in a way that it can enhance the photo. Composition of the elements is always important.
- Get Low: To continue getting the best outline of your subject(s) and to avoid any background distractions try getting low or have them be located in an elevated area.
- No Flash: The point of a silhouette photo is to have the light behind your subject. Remember to turn off your flash if you’re in automatic mode so that it doesn’t ruin your photo.
- Burst Mode: If you are using a cell phone to capture an action shot in silhouette form then try using the burst mode to make sure you don’t miss anything. This means it’ll take multiple photos very quickly so that you don’t miss your shot. (This feature is available on most phones.)
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