Article by Amy Renfrey
Digital photography Silhouettes work best when there is one main subject (can comprise of a few subjects) that has the whole emphasis on it. What works best is the light coming from behind to block out the whole subject, not just dim the subject.
But, there is more to it than just blacking out the subject from the light behind. You will find that when you go to take your digital photo silhouette shape and form become features points of your picture. Your lines and form become paramount to a successful silhouette image.
The background colour can really work well to enhance your silhouette, especially bold colour that stands out nicely to enhance the blackness of your subject. Your lines will help enhance the viewer’s perception of the more concentrated feeling you are creating.
Bold background colour works well with a digital silhouette photo because it enhances the black and you’ll find it lifts your subject because of the stark contrast it creates. Black and bold, intense colour can enhance each other. A black figure against a hot pink background or bright blue can look powerful.
Your lines and shapes are enhanced because the detail of the frontal aspect of the main subject is gone. The eye is left with nothing but shapes and form to capture the essence of the image itself. We are unable to see frontal detail so naturally our eye looks at the composition and form of that subject to find information from it.
To create beautiful silhouette digital photography choose a simple theme. Silhouette is all about “simple” and there are many things that work well. Silhouetted subjects against a sunset sky are a traditional method of creating beautiful silhouettes. Another thing you can do is black and white silhouette. Black and white silhouettes such as branches of a tree against a blue sky done in your black and white mode create a sense of drama and interest.
The sprawled-out branches of the tree as a shape tend to capture our interest very quickly. Inanimate objects such as ladders, lamp posts, bridges and windmills can also make powerful silhouette digital photos.
Framing your silhouette is very important too. Framing creates an important aspect in the composition of your photo and helps to create the point of where the lines can begin and end.
Don’t forget about the weather. The weather changes your light instantly. Silhouettes rely on light and it’s important to make sure your weather isn’t changing too dramatically if you are taking outside silhouette digital photos. You can use good weather turned bad fairly well in silhouette digital photography. A mountain range with misty clouds can help increase the sense of the dramatic anyway, and when done in black and white, your silhouette becomes more powerful.
If you want to practice getting superb silhouette digital photos, just look at your shadows during the day. I urge you to really look at the lines, shapes and forms of the shadow because it’s very much like the kind of eye you would cast over a newly created silhouette photo. It’s a great way to practice your silhouette digital
photography. See how the shadow creates the outside lines of your main subject.
You can even take a photo of the shadow to get an idea of how silhouettes appear. So keep practicing and improving your digital photography always!
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