Silhouettes make for dramatic photographs. They rely on shape, color and imagination to tell a story and that’s simply beautiful. Many photographers use silhouettes to convey mystery, mood and drama in the image or on a video. Since the theme can be about people, animals or objects, we are usually struck by the beauty of silhouette images which are often used for wedding photography because they show a whole new level of closeness, love and romance.
One of the most important things for a good silhouette photo is the shape of the object, so the stronger the shape, the better the image will be. It’s true that with the right tips you can get silhouette images in no time, but nothing can replace a good old DSLR camera and its awesome and life-saving accessories that will give you countless of beautifully captured moments.
So before you get all excited that you can become the greatest silhouette photographer in the gang, think about the kind of camera you own. If you don’t own a proper DSLR camera buy yourself one and brag about it to your friends and family during the holidays. You will need a camera that will allow you to manually change the settings, the aperture and the shutter speed. These are all important elements for a beautiful silhouette image that you most definitely not be able to get from a phone camera for example.
The key to successful silhouette photography, besides proper equipment, is backlighting. Place the subject against a strong colored background of your own choice, or for a better result, use nature’s landscapes. Sunsets are an amazing part of the day that make for a perfect silhouette photography. Photographers love using sunsets combined with beaches, parks, fields or urban environments because of their vibrant colors. If you want to make silhouette images indoors, you’ll need more light in the background rather than on the subject itself as to create an illusion that will be perfect for this kind of photography. Another great tip to notice is if you make a silhouette of a person, make them wear tight clothes if possible for a better result. Although it seems rather strange, it’s actually a very useful practice for silhouette photography because there will be little to no light on the subject and if the person wears loose fitting clothing their shape will be blurry and not noticeable.
If you already have the DSLR camera buy yourself some close up lenses for best result. All the additional camera accessories are also welcomed, but the two essentials are the camera and the lenses. Another important thing is the focus. The ideal spot to focus on is the subject, but since the subject is in little to no light, the camera may have difficulty focusing it and this is when the manual focus is needed. Lastly, don’t forget to turn off your flash. You’ll want as little light on the front of your subject as possible, which means the flash has to go. Finally, use your imagination and capture outside the box. Only with open-minded thinking you can create beautiful, dramatic silhouette images.