Wednesday, March 18, 2015

creative silhouette photos

I am obsessed with taking pictures (when I grow up I want to be a photographer!) and one of my favorite ways to get creative is with silhouette photos. They are easy to take and when done right can be so dynamic!

Taking a photo with a silhouette (or a backlit photo) is as simple as keeping the sun or light source is behind your subject matter. When your light source is strong and bright, like on sunny day or even during a sunset, your subject matter will turn into a silhouette. It is a really beautiful way to capture a moment, create a narrative or get creative with movement and action.

To take a good silhouette photo, start by being aware of the setting and the light. A grey/foggy day probably isn't going to be the right condition for a back lit/silhouette photo BUT a sunny day or even a sunset with lots of color and light is going to give you the opportunity to take a great shot.

Sometimes a silhouette photo can be subtle. If the light and conditions are right you can get a picture that captures the light behind your focal point but still captures subtle details within your subject matter. 

Movement is such a fun and inspiring thing to capture in a silhouette and a great way to tell a story that evokes energy and emotion. Capturing movement with your camera can be challenging but the outcome can be very dynamic. 

When it comes to taking action shots, your timer can really come in handy if you are working alone or want to get a group shot. I typically use my favorite timer application Gorillacam and always take my Gorilla Pod tripod with me everywhere I go. It enables me to set up my camera in all kinds of different places and take photos with my timer. If I don't have a tripod I have been known to use a rock, a piece of driftwood or a sweater to prop up my camera for a timed shot!

Jumping around in front of the camera is another really fun way to create dynamic photos full of movement! If you time things right you will be able to capture yourself or your subject in the air and the result is the illusion of flying, floating or soaring.

A word of warning- setting up a shot like this takes courage if you are doing it in a public place. Often it will take many attempts to get just the right shot which means you will be jumping and jumping and jumping in front of a camera...people will stare...but that is the fun part!

TIP: One of the easiest ways to capture movement is with clothing that moves. Dress your model or subject matter in something that is flowing or will move with different actions. 

I love capturing everyday moments in a silhouette. When I am taking photos, especially more INTUITIVE photos (where I am not staging and arranging everyone). I try to move around my subject matter to find a good angle that captures the moment but also makes of the space around me.

TIP: Try to play with different angles, light, composition and perspective to capture a silhouette in interesting and compelling ways.

Lately I've been having fun using props in my sillouette photos- cut out shapes and words are another really fun way to get creative!

Experiment with taking photos during different times of the day, different settings and different subject matter. 

Forget about rules or getting things arranged and framed perfectly. Instead look for moments and subject matter that draws you in and speaks to your heart. Challenge yourself to capture those things with your lens.


Carin Winkelman said...

Lots of fun. I do this with bare trees and branches and plants and such. I love their shapes against the sky. I even use them as a base for simple drawings and paintings. There's something about silhouettes that just speaks to me.


Super! very pretty :)

Jamie Morton said...

So beautiful and fun pictures! I can't wait to see your next post. Thanks for sharing.
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Kathleen Kibblehouse said...

Great idea!

studioGypsy said...

sooo love this! need to remember o try it out! :D

Deborah A. Pierro said...

Alisa, I love your silhouette photos! In fact, I have a board on Pinterest called Shadows & Silhouttes, so it's something I'm attracted to.

curlygirlpress said...

One of my fave pics to date is sunset on the beach in Seaside - a silhouette of my little guy all bundled up, running toward his daddy in the distance. = )

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