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Exploring Silhouette Photography

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Silhouette photography came to light from and with the shadows to create highly expressive images. With a restricted palette, it amazingly gives incomparably symbolic pictures.

It’s the only method of photography that employs colours to do the storytelling. The subject of the shoot is presented as the silhouette and the composition is enriched with the subject’s interaction with the background.

The outline of the subject has great importance in conveying the essence of the picture as the details stay hidden. It’s a specialized art of photography that can be mastered in a photography school.

Why would you go for silhouette? Compared to other methods of photography, it places more focus on the imagery that the subject presents. It’s also a great method to vividly portray emotionally deep disposition of a subject like a lonely traveler or a couple in love. In showcasing action or revelry, silhouette photography does a wonderful job.

Its style of photography carries along all the challenges of a minimalistic artwork. Students in photography training courses find the real test of their skill and imagination in silhouette photography. But being aware of a few things and executing them flawlessly can make you gain steady progress in it.


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The Subjects of the Shoot


Silhouette photography shines when its subjects effectively portray a well-identifiable entity. Also, the subject must clearly convey an activity or emotion that is the basic premise of the picture.

In silhouette photography, it’s recommended to have few subjects avoiding the creation of a crowd that makes it difficult to understand each one’s distinct pose or activity. Even where there are multiple entities, like more than one person, make sure that each is at a relatively good distance for better clarity.


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Befitting Backgrounds


Backgrounds play a great role in silhouette photography. The subjects are mostly shot against bright backgrounds. Combined with the right depth of field and aperture settings, the main subject is turned into a perfect silhouette.

Sky is a very common background chosen for silhouette clicks. Since the scene has to be decluttered for a meaningful image, the background elements are ensured not to overshadow or disturb the subject.

Studio-based silhouette photography presents a much wider opportunity and control in planning backgrounds effectively. Bright colors and patterns for a theme can be set more comfortably than in outdoor shots.


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Camera Settings for the Shoot


Always shoot a silhouette without the flash. As for aperture, in order to facilitate a large depth of field to cover all the subject details, it’s best to keep it at or above 8.0. Since the key is to  underexpose (darken) the main subject, a high shutter speed should be used. Also, setting ISO at the lowest possible level avoids noise in the photograph.

Best silhouette outdoor clicks happen either early in the morning or late in the evening. Backlighting in a selected colour inside a studio depends on the mood and theme of the shoot.

As a photography school with decades of experience, Hamstech Institute makes every effort to train students to gain mastery in photographic techniques including silhouette photography.

As a photography aficionado, a student or a professional, it will be a worthwhile effort to perfect the art of silhouette photography. Your skill and imagination can push the boundaries of what’s possible in this method of photography.

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