Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Photography - Playing with Silhouettes

We've all taken those photos where the subject is too dark to really make out any facial features.  Until I started learning more about photography, I didn't really know how to prevent this from happening.  Now I realize, if you put the light behind your subject, you are going to have a lot of shadows.  Lighting is such a big part of photography and where the light is coming from makes a huge difference.  However, playing with lighting can be fun and digital photography allows us to do that without wasting film.  Win-win!

One thing I've found to be fun is working with those scenes where the light comes from behind.  It can give you a fun silhouette.  Here are some photos where the backlighting made the photo so much more interesting.

Playing with some self-portraits one day and tried this one.  The light was coming in from the window and the room was rather dark.  A little cheesey but just an example of playing around with lighting to see what you can come up with in your photos.
My parents have a cozy house in the cove of a nearby lake.  One morning my dogs woke me up early so I grabbed my camera and went down to the dock.  It was foggy and the sun was starting to come up behind the view from the dock.  I love the foggy silhouettes of the trees, the neighbor's dock and boat, and the reflection in the lake. 
My husband and I took our 3 boys to the park one evening and I took my camera.  The sun was setting and was on the other side of the slide.  I was able to snap some photos just as it slid behind the slide for a great silhouette shot.  These aren't my kids (my timing wasn't THAT great) but I love this shot.

This was in Hawaii in 2010.  I had just been learning about lighting and this silhouette effect.  The whole time we were there, I wanted to take this photo.  This happened the last night before we left.  We went down by the water outside of our condo at sunset, I relayed my vision to my mother-in-law, and she snapped the photo for me.  We had a lot of photos from that trip and I think this one captures the entire vibe of the trip. 

Over time I've learned to purposefully look for these types of shots but there have been many times that they happened on accident.  Sometimes it can be a happy accident so don't be so quick to delete photos that don't turn out exactly as you wanted.  Look to see what you can make of it first.  You might find a good one that surprises you!

Feel free to share links to some of your favorite silhouette photos in your comments.  Enjoy!

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