Thursday, March 14, 2013

Photo Friday: Tips for shooting silhouettes

Guest post from Ann

I've been crazy for silhouettes lately. And if you know me, you know that I don't learn a photo trick that I don't repeat 70 billion times (it's like Sabine's daughter's love for bacon, boundless).

Find a lot of light: The person you're photographing has to stand out as a dark shape against the background. That means you need a lot of light. Sunset's my favorite, then sunrise, then a big window.

Details count: The little details are what makes the silhouette work. Say you've got a couple you're photographing, you're probably aiming for that moment where they're gazing at each other before they kiss, rather than the smooch itself. There has to be space between things, so the viewer can tell what they're seeing. (I have a bunch from this shoot of the back of my husband's and daughter's heads, but when he started talking to her, bingo!)

Use your camera's manual settings: This is not your normal shoot. You're wanting the people to be dark and underexposed and the background to be pretty. If you haven't done much of this, you might want to experiment with taking the photo on automatic and see what your shutter speed and aperture are, and then go to manual settings and underexpose your people.

Keep it sharp: You'll also want to make sure your person is in focus (blurry outlines don't really work with silhouettes).

Go to Istanbul: OK, that's not really about silhouettes, but I took the photo on our trip there and it's a really cool place. It's also the excuse for missing the last few Photo Fridays. I missed you!

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