A silhouette is best defined as an outline that appears dark against a bright & colorful background. In a silhouette, the foreground of the photo is very dark as compared to the background. This drastic contrast between background and foreground gives a mysterious look at the overall picture. Silhouette photography produces stunning results when a photographer (or better say an artist with a camera) wants to convey drama & mystery.
The huge contrast between the dark subject & light background of a silhouette photo instantly grabs your attention. Silhouette pictures are best to display an emotion, a mood, a mystery or some drama. Many people consider silhouette to be a complex & tricky technique, but fortunately, it is one of the easiest of all. Following we have some tips for you to discover how to take amazing silhouette photos and what you should do to make sure your silhouettes always look stunning.
1. Background must be brighter than the subject
The golden rule to capture a stunning silhouette is to have a bright background against a dark foreground. Only then your silhouettes will turn out to be masterpieces.
2. Subject must stand out
To pull off a true silhouette your subject must stand out from rest of the environment. It should be easily visible with clear outlines. The best is to choose a strong subject. Though you can convert everything into a silhouette, some things are better than others.
3. Turn off your flash
Flash is your silhouette enemy. If you have a habit of shooting in auto mode, make sure you turn off the camera flash when you want to capture a silhouette. The flash ruins your silhouette completely. However, a little light in the foreground is fine. In the image above, though the image looks fine, it definitely doesn’t qualify as a silhouette picture. If the camera flash was turned off, the photographer might have had a beautiful silhouette image.
4. Make sure your silhouette shapes are distinct and uncluttered
If you are using more than one subjects in your silhouette, be sure to keep them separate to get clear shapes and outlines. Cluttered and closely placed subjects will not provide good results.
5. Shoot at sunrise to avoid wind or at sunset to get those magical color tones.
Sunset and sunrise i.e. the golden hour is the best time to get those magical color tones for your silhouette. It is during these hours that the sky is magically lit-up in shades of yellow, orange and pink colors. If you want to have a bright and a colorful background for your silhouette, then it must be captured during the golden hour.
6. Consider daytime silhouettes too
Those who believe that silhouettes can be taken only during sunrise or sunset are wrong. Remember, to capture a silhouette all you need is a subject that is backlit. So as long as you have a subject with the Sun directly behind it, you can still capture a silhouette.
7. Position of the subject matters
The pose and position of your subject are also very important if you want to capture a stunning silhouette picture. For example, placing your subject in front of a huge tree is definitely a bad idea, because your subject will lose its identity and will not be able to stand out. It is better to position it little away from the tree. A place where you can see their features. This way, your viewers know what they are looking at.