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Learn By Doing Photography

Learn by Doing – Silhouette

Assignment #28 – Take a Silhouette picture

I love taking silhouettes! A silhouette picture can be taken in front of a window, sunset any source of bright light. The trick is to put your subject in front of this light and expose for the bright light not your subject.  On this particular morning my kids were trying to figure out what to do together, they played hide and seek for awhile. Then my son wanted to practice the saxophone at first Kat played the piano with him, but then dragged her amp and microphone out to the living room to sing with him. Hearing the two of them play was precious especially when they started singing Christmas songs. It was a beautiful sunny morning so when they were done I had them move to the window so I could take a picture. I put my camera on spot meter exposed for the window and took the picture.

Settings – F/2.2
ISO 100
Focal length 50mm
Shutter Speed 1/6400
on Manual

Silhouette – Cast or show (someone or something) as a dark shape and outline against a lighter background.

This is one of my favorite silhouettes from awhile back of my son and two great friends on top of a mountain. The sun just set they were standing on top and I was laying on the ground down below to get this angle my settings were:

Shutter speed 1/4000
ISO 800
on Manual

It’s good to open up your file and check your settings every once in awhile. I am always surprised by what I see sometimes I might notice my shutter speed is at 1/50 for a hand held photo. So I note to myself next time watch your shutter speed. On this one I noticed my ISO is at 800 with a shutter speed of 1/4000 I have some wiggle room and could have adjusted the ISO to 100.

Another great tutorial I found on how to take a silhouette photo was at digital photography school

It’s a good one he talks about the 8 steps to photographing a silhouette.
1. Choose a strong subject
3. Get your light right
4. Frame your image
5. Make silhouetted shape distinct and uncluttered

Then a great description of auto mode, manual mode and focusing! Be sure to check it out!

This a a great tutorial I found on how he took a silhouette photo of a surfer at sunset! Taking a Sunset Silhouette Tutorial


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