Thursday, July 2, 2015


by Judy

Happy July everyone! It's a new month, and with that comes a new theme.  This month we are focusing on silhouette photography.

Silhouettes add drama and intrigue to a photo. By taking away the details of an image, we focus on the shape and lighting in the photo. Although silhouette photography is fairly easy to learn, there are a few tips that will make your silhouette photos really beautiful. 

First and foremost, your subject must be backlit.  The lighting can be indoor light, or natural light, but the background light must be brighter than your subject.

Set your camera to spot metering.  Meter the lighting of the sky, or whatever light source you are using, then compose your shot. (In addition, I use either shutter priority or aperture priority, which helps ensure a crisp silhouette.)

When photographing silhouettes, make sure there is separation between your subjects, like the shot above. If there is no separation, your silhouette will look like a large black blob.

Do not use your flash, or any fill lighting when shooting silhouettes.  

When shooting landscapes, or seascapes, in silhouette, I choose an aperture of f8 or larger to ensure the background is in focus too.

Silhouette photography can be of anything - people, objects, buildings, nature, animals, trees, etc. Any subject that has a pronounced shape will look great in silhouette.  It's easy, so grab your camera and capture some silhouettes!

Post your silhouette photos on our flickr page and/or on our instagram feed (@focusing_on_life), with the hashtag #focusingonlife. 

Happy shooting everyone! 


Anonymous said...

Wow, Judy, these are simply brilliant silhouette images -- some of the best I've seen! Thanks for the inspiration to shoot some more myself. I do love the contrast of dark and light.

terriporter said...

I love the emotion that silhouette shots seem to evoke and yours are no exception! Great tips and beautiful examples which will instruct and inspire. I can't wait to see all the beautiful silhouettes posted to the galleries!

Dotti said...

These are beautiful! And great advice.

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