04 December 2015

Friday Photo Tip: Creating Silhouettes


Silhouettes are some of the most graphic images we can make as photographers. Silhouettes take vision! They are a bit of “photographic magic” the scene before the camera very rarely looks like a silhouette with the naked eye. They are created when we expose for the bright background. This under exposes the subject rendering it black. I usually switch to manual exposure and spot metering when creating a silhouette. I then spot meter a tone in the background I want medium toned. In this case right above the grouse’s shoulder.
To be successful silhouettes usually need to be a very clean simple composition. You want to avoid merges of other things with your main subject, because once they go black they will become part of your main subject.

Good Luck and Good Light!

Image: Sharp-tailed Grouse Dancing on Lek, Seney NWR, MI
Nikon F4S, 300mm, 1/1,000 @ f11, Fuji Velvia