Monday, October 3, 2011

Shoot simple and stunning silhouettes

A silhouette is the image of a person or object consisting of the outline and featureless interior, usually being black.

Have you ever tried to take a silhouette picture of a palm tree or a friend jumping against a beautiful sunset and all you get is a blown out white sky?? When I think of a silhouette, I usually think of a beautiful sunset landscape with a tree or two.

Snapping a stunning sunset takes some knowledge of photography and your manual exposure settings. The first thing we must understand is that your goal is to properly expose the sky and to capture its vivid colors. When your camera is on anything but manual exposure mode, your camera usually tries to properly expose the person or the tree, so it allows the shutter to be open longer or the aperture to be bigger, which causes the sky to be blown out and white. What I do first is make sure that my ISO is set around 200 and I usually close my aperture up to increase my depth of field. Start with an aperture of F/5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/200s and see what you get. Too light? Stop down your aperture to F/8 or speed up your shutter to 1/400s. If your subject is moving, speed up your shutter, if you want your subject and the background to be in focus, close up your aperture. If your subject is not completely black, that it is fine, it is very easy to correct with any basic photo editor.

Try getting down low and get the grass in the bottom of the frame your subject off center. With landscapes, you want to have multiple “layers.” A foreground, such as grass, a middleground such as a person or tree, and a background like your sky.

The great things about silhouettes is that you can get gorgeous pictures almost anywhere. Try getting a cityscape or a barn; some power lines or just a tree. Almost everything looks cool when it’s a silhouette. Here are a few examples we took in our own backyard.

I want to see some of your silhouette pictures. Post them here!

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