People who have known me for a while also know that silhouettes are my favorite type of photographs. Forgive me for this longer than normal blog and more photos than normal.
Go to my galleries and you see various kinds of silhouettes. Whether it is a tree, or a person or a boat, silhouettes make dramatic photographics and they are easy to take.
Basically a silhouette is a photograph shooting into the sun…or a light, but the subject is blocking the light source. I feel that silhouettes make the photograph more dramatic and they really stand out in a album or an exhibit. Silhouettes can also be taken at sunset or sunrise too.
How, here is the interesting part. Your sent your camera for exposure for the brightest part of the scene. If you set your exposure manually, you should do that. If you can’t do that you may have to move your subject to once side so that your meter will expose for the bright area…and not the shadow. Be sure your background is brighter than your subject or you will be disappointed with the results.
By doing that your subject will be underexposed and will become black…or almost black if the subject is not fully back lighted. Be sure that your subject can be recognized by the shape. Turn off your auto flash. Your camera may think there is not enough light for the subject and the flash will fire when you push the shutter.
Setting suns often lend to great silhouetted just after the sun has dropped below the horizon but the light is very bright in the sky.
I have included several photographs of silhouettes with this blog. They have taken over the years and are just as exciting to me today as the day I took them.
In the evening fishermen, the sun has already set, but the bright light from the sun is reflected into the sky and on the lake. The photograph was taken in 1955.
Sunset Beach Walk was taken on the Oregon Coast in 2002. although the sun is included in this scene, the subject on the beach is silhouetted by the sun’s reflection on the water.
Misty Morning Garden was taken in our back yard in Illinois in 2003. I exposed for the morning sun which captured the sun’s ray in the misty morning and nearly everything else turned black…except where the sun was reaching the ground.
Florida Keys Sunrise Before The Storm was taken in the Florida Keys in 2010. The sun was partially hidden behind the clouds and reflecting on the water which turned almost everything else into a silhouette.
Escambia Sunset was taken in 2006 just a few miles from my house in Florida. Again, I captured the sun behind the clouds. The storm weathered docks and the reeds on the shoreline turned black as the sun, although hidden, refected on the water.
Just to prove that a color silhouette can be just as dramatic as a black and white one, I am including the Sunrise Before The Storm. Here again, the sun most hidden by the clouds cast a brilliant reflection on the water and the palm trees and docks turn into a colorful silhouette. Photograph taken on the Florida Keys in 2010.