How you can create great Silhouettes

Do you get scared by the thought of taking silhouettes as you are creating a total black image against a colourful, light filled background?







Once you know how it is one of the easiest techniques around.

There are a few basics you need to know.
Firstly you need to be shooting into the sun, not actually including the sun, but so the sun is behind your subject.
If the sun is in your shot, use the foreground object to block it otherwise you will end up with an overexposed background.

The second is that you need to spot meter for the background.
Which means you go to your cameras menu and pick spot meter, a lot of cameras have a dial you turn to put it on spot metering.
Then you need to point the camera at the sky. Make a note of the settings the camera has picked. Now you can do one of two things.
If your camera has an exposure lock, then hold this down and recompose your shot and then press the shutter.
Then whatever object you have in the foreground will be in silhouette.

If your camera doesn’t have an exposure lock, you have made a note of the settings the camera chose, so move the dial to M for manual and dial those settings in.
Then compose your shot, press the shutter and you should have a silhouette.

That’s it…. Well there are a couple of other things to keep in mind to make a really good silhouette.

Subjects with a clear well recognizable profile work best as we easily identify what it is, making sure they are positioned so their most noticeable features are in profile.
For people this is usually side on.
The other is positioning.
Place them so that there whole profile is against a bright part of the background otherwise they get lost.
You may need to bend your knees and get low to shoot them against the sky.

See how one we lose them against the background.

silhoette bad example







Now have a look at the one up the top, much better.

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