Soooo... it's Friday again. The day I've pseudo-committed to making my "Friday Favorites" day. The problem is, my camera has been a bit quiet this week. I had a newborn shoot get postponed because the baby needed treatment for high bilirubin levels, my brother came into town (hi, Evan!), and neither of my boys slept through one single night this week. Also! Rain! North Carolina got hit with enough rain to just about make up for all the rain we DIDN'T get this summer, and that made it all too easy to work on editing rather than getting out and shooting. For SHAME! Anyway, at the risk of boring you, I thought I'd do a reprise of the beach from last week (and let me tell you how grateful I am that we went last week and not this week!!!). I played around a lot with silhouette shooting last week, and wanted to show you how you, too, can create these beautiful photographs. You can shoot silhouettes anywhere, but the beach is particularly great because the light tends to frame people and objects really well...
First of all, make sure your background is brighter than your subject - the whole point of silhouette is that the subject is backlit, so look for bright skies, signs, water (in the aquarium!), etc. The silhouettes in this post were all taken at either dawn or dusk to take advantage of the low sun.
When setting up your shot, make sure your subject(s) is(are) clearly defined. A silhouette essentially strips the subject of all detail and dimension, so the outline is key to making the your photo recognizable, emotional, or both.
After setting up the perfect shot, but before you press the shutter button even once, you absolutely MUST turn off your flash! In some ways, shooting a silhouette involves fighting your camera - it wants to expose well for the foreground, not the background, so in a good silhouette situation, chances are good that your camera will try to convince you to use the flash. In this case, don't listen!
Finally, a little post-processing can go a long way to turn a silhouette from drab to fab (oh yes I did!) with a couple small enhancements. Try adding some contrast or saturation to make your silhouette pop.
Silhouettes are all about impact, so frame your subject in a way that will wow! The outline - however you frame it - must be interesting and discernible enough to create an image that grabs the viewer as either recognizable, emotional, or both. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend!