A silhouette photo is when the subject is completely dark against a brighter background. It can be a wonderful addition to any photo book or wall decor and can be a great way to emphasize a beautiful landscape or scenery behind your subject. Silhouette photos seem to bring an air of mystery and can have several benefits for your subject as well. Maybe you have a camera shy person that doesn’t want their face in the photos, or maybe, since we are photographing mainly pets, they have a detail about them that you don’t want very visible. Silhouettes help you eliminate the details and just focus on the form of the subject.
Silhouettes are fairly easy to capture. The main factor is that the light source needs to be coming from directly behind the subject. Beautiful skys at sundown are a great way to capture these types of pictures, but it is completely possible to capture silouettes in your home or in the studio if you give alot of consideration to your light sources. Always shoot them with your camera in manual mode, so you have control over your speed, aperture and ISO settings. I typically shoot these with a very low ISO, a slower speed and a somewhat narrow aperture.
The photo above is of a sweet little senior Chihuahua named Leisel I recently had a photo session with. Leisel is 15yrs old and has had several health issues which has affected her appearance. Her coat quality is a little rough and because of some eye problems she has constant dark tear staining. By capturing a silhouette of her we don’t focus on those little imperfections and are able to enjoy a captivating scene of a little dog surrounded by a beautiful sky and water reflection at the end of the day.
So next time you are wanting a little variety in your photos, consider trying to catch a beautiful silhouette of your subject!
Camera Setting for this photo were: 35mm, F14, 1/125sec, 125ISO