Silhouette photographs look marvelous, especially when they are well outlined, with bright backgrounds. In this article, the tips and tricks of silhouette photography are discussed. You will know about choosing the subject, correct camera settings, backgrounds, lighting, and post-processing.
Top 5 ways to click great silhouette photos:-
Always remember to have a clear outline of the silhouette in your photo. So, choose a subject with an easily recognizable outline. For example, if you are clicking a man with a dog, either keep them separate or make him hold the dog in such a way that their outlines are well defined. If he sits with the dog on his lap, chances are, the overlapping shapes will confuse the audience, which is of course not desirable. More often than not, silhouette photographers produce the same kind of photo of their subjects standing with different gestures. To stand out from the crowd, experiment with your subject's poses and positions. For example, you can make your subject sit on a rock and click bending on your knees. It will show the background in a new way.
If you are shooting with a smartphone, you can automatically capture silhouettes of smaller subjects. But for a larger subject, you will need to select the manual mode for exposure. Focus on the brightest point of the background, make sure the light is coming from the back of your subject, and it will turn into a silhouette. Choose a smaller aperture, i.e. higher f-number, to get a deep depth of field. Generally, an aperture between f/11 to f/16 is good enough for creating sharp, crisp images. Shutter speed should be fast, like 1/250 sec. You can shoot in burst mode to quickly take a series of photos and select the desired one later.
Background plays an extremely important role in silhouette photography because it incorporates the source of light too. For example, while shooting outdoors, look for picture-worthy cloud patterns around the sun, and position your subject accordingly. They will look splendid beside the silhouette. You can also include a larger shadow of the silhouette by clicking from a lower position. You might also take a silhouette of a person's side profile.
The main idea of silhouette photography is to have the subject in front of the source of light. If you are shooting outdoors, choose the time just before sunset, or just after sunrise. If you are shooting with auto mode, don't forget to turn off the flash! To shoot a silhouette indoors, you may place your subject in front of a window through which sufficient sunlight comes.
While post-processing will generally depend on your preferences and requirements, there are some general post-processing rules to enhance your silhouette photographs. To get better post-processing options, always opt for shooting in RAW. You can increase the contrast, make the black areas softer, use a high-pass filter to sharpen your image, and do many other things when you shoot in RAW.
If you want to take better silhouette photographs, follow all the above-mentioned steps while shooting.
Written By Sanga Basu, Content Writer, WPC.