How To Take Silhouette Photos

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Founder of the iPhone Photography School Emil Parkarklis shares how to take stunning silhouette photos with your phone.

Emil Pakarklis is a passionate iPhoneographer and the founder of iPhone Photography Schoolhouse, a website dedicated to taking and editing amend photos with the iPhone. Today he will share some great tips to assist y’all improve your mobile photography. Thanks Emil!

Silhouetting is one of the nearly interesting creative photography techniques. By hiding your bailiwick in the darkness, silhouetting creates a sense of mystery in your photos, allowing the viewer to fill in the blanks and create their own unique story from the photo. Here are 10 simple and techniques to make sure your silhouette photos e’er look amazing.

1. Shoot confronting the source of light

The human being eye has a much larger dynamic range than the sensor of whatsoever camera. Our eyes tin can easily recognize a person standing against the sunset sky, only when you take a photograph of the same portrait, you’ll get something entirely dissimilar.

As long as the source of lite is located behind your photography subject, the subject stays in shadow and automatically turns into a silhouette when yous take a photo. If you shoot outdoors, it’south essential that the sun is relatively low above the horizon, which is why sunsets, sunrises and wintertime days at higher latitudes are perfect for silhouette photography.

2. Find interesting and unique subjects

While it’s easy to have silhouette photos, they won’t look good unless you discover interesting photography subjects – ones that volition really make your photos memorable.

My favorite subjects for silhouettes are other people, followed by birds, copse and homo-fabricated structures. I specially like taking silhouette photos of people because they always exit you curious about who the person in the silhouette might be and what they might look similar.

3. Only pay attention to the outline of your subjects

When y’all’re photographing a person’s silhouette, information technology doesn’t matter what their facial expression is because you’ll only see their outline. On the other paw, the outline itself tin can make a huge departure, so you must acquire to look at your photography subjects in terms of their outline. As you try to brand the best possible silhouettes of human subjects, yous’ll find that minor things similar the position of their limbs can make a massive difference.

If your subjects are moving, try taking photos in outburst mode (which you lot tin activate by belongings down the shutter of the iPhone) so you can pick the exact right moment subsequently. Likewise, avert overlapping subjects such equally people standing in front end of each other. Because you can only see their combined outline, overlapping subjects are disruptive and generally don’t look adept.

4. Set exposure manually

If your subjects are relatively small-scale and don’t accept upwards a large office of your photo, your smartphone’s technology will automatically ready exposure for the largest parts of the photograph and exit your silhouettes in the dark. But if your subject field takes upward a large function of the photo, you have to set up exposure manually.

Y’all can do this by tapping on the brightest parts of the image exterior your subject area, which will set exposure (and focus) for that point and besides turn your subject into a silhouette as long every bit the calorie-free is coming from behind.

5. Capture movement

Try to capture movement in your silhouette photos whenever possible. When yous’re shooting silhouettes, the shutter speed will typically be very fast, allowing y’all to capture short and unique moments that would likely go blurred in almost other conditions.

Once again, outburst manner is the perfect tool for taking photos of motion so that you lot tin can capture the exact right moment.

6. Hide the lord’s day behind your subject

When you’re shooting against the sun, you lot’ll oftentimes have issues with the sun bravado out (making white) large parts of your photos. Lens flare tin also be a problem when you have photos direct against the sun. While lens flare can sometimes be used for a creative consequence, mostly it’s a good idea to leave the sunday out birthday by hiding information technology directly behind your main subject area.

If your discipline is narrow (such as a continuing person), y’all’ll too get interesting shadows coming towards you. If you then get down on your knees (or lower), you can make these shadows expect much larger, which often expect great because they lead the viewer’due south centre directly towards your subject.

7. Look for interesting clouds

It is particularly of import in silhouette photos to exist aware of the background that you place your silhouettes against. When using the heaven every bit the background, look for interesting patterns and formations in the clouds to see how you can juxtapose them with your silhouette to create a truly unique photo.

8. Take photos from a low angle

Shooting from a depression angle is another trick that you tin can employ to greatly better the surroundings of your silhouettes, considering it allows you to position your subjects against unique backgrounds. Don’t exist afraid to go downwardly on your knees – or much lower if y’all need to.

nine. Shoot against doors and windows

While almost silhouette photos are taken outside, you can also capture unique silhouettes indoors as long as yous’re shooting against the source of lite. This works particularly well when the majority of calorie-free enters the room through a window or door, which was the instance in this lighthouse.

10. Emphasize silhouettes in mail service-processing

While entire books could be written about post processing, it’due south of import that your silhouette yet stands out after. If y’all utilise slider adjustments to edit the photo, it’s a good idea to increase contrast to brand the silhouettes stand out more. If you’re using filters, pick ones that don’t make the blacks softer or the highlights darker, which would deemphasize the silhouette.

Thanks for sharing Emil! You can bank check out more than tutorials from Emil here.

For more tips and tricks, look no further!

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• 10 Tips & Tricks on Shooting Photos in Low Light
• ten Tips & Tricks for Shooting Groovy Portraits