January 2013
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How to shoot great silhouettes – 5 Tips – Part 5

Read the previous part of this series (Shooting great silhouettes – Part 4):

Tip 1066 (Getting a great location and setting): If you have the flexibility to be able to decide the location and the angle of shooting, then it can be a big help. Such a setting allows you to place the location of the light, the positioning of the subjects and their profile appearance, and the location of the camera vis-a-vis the subjects and the background. This allows you to get the best profile of the subjects in the photo, set the level of clutter of the background, and make sure that you are able to get the best possible silhouette photo.

Tip 1067 (Kissing silhouettes): You would have seen those photos where a couple is leaning towards each other in a silhouette, and then their lips meet. Such a silhouette photo can look great, very romantic. However, as has been stated in a tip earlier, when two faces are very close to each other, they can almost merge with each other and seem more like a blob rather than two people. So, what do you do ? Well, consider that the best photo is actually visible when the two pairs of lips are almost in contact rather than actually in contact. So if you are staging such a photo-op, then it makes sense to ask the couple to do this slowly and keep on shooting as they are coming closer to each other.

Tip 1068 (Shooting silhouettes in a studio): If you are shooting in a studio, you have full control. You need no longer depend on the sun to be the light in the background with only shades of yellow or orange, instead you can have backgrounds of other colors or even have multi-colored backgrounds (just be a bit careful that the arrangement should look aesthetic and merge with the overall look of the photo).

Tip 1069 (Using modes on the camera): If you have a point and shoot camera and it has modes, then check where there is a sunset mode. For a number of types of silhouette shots, using the sunset mode ends up creating a pretty good silhouette when you are taking your photo near sunrise or sunset. Experiment with these modes, and if there is a night mode, then experiment with these modes as well to determine which exact setting or mode ends up giving you the best photo.

Tip 1070 (See whether exposure bracketing can help you): Typically, I use exposure bracketing to help in creating HDR images, where the camera will be taking 3 photos at different points of the aperture / shutter speed (if you look at the 3 images created later, you will see that they vary in how dark / light they actually are). The advantage of using exposure bracketing (and use the widest possible variation in exposure levels) is that one of the images may come out to be like what you were looking for.

Some instructional books from Amazon:

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites The Digital Photography Book, Part 4

Videos from Youtube:

How to make and shoot silhouettes photos

Taking A Sunset Silhouette Photo

Shooting a silhouette

Read the next post in this series (Shooting great silhouettes – Part 6)

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