Tip of the Day: Silhouettes that Don’t Suck

Subject MatterLook for a subject that has distinct shape and form. It will be reduced to black so it’s essential its outline has character. For instance, a large boulder will turn out as a huge black blob and have no interest

Russ Burden shares tips on how to shoot different kinds of silhouettes at dusk and dawn on TakeGreatPictures.com. Here are a few highlights, click here to read the full article.

Subject Matter
Look for a subject that has distinct shape and form. It will be reduced to black so it's essential its outline has character. For instance, a large boulder will turn out as a huge black blob and have no interest

Make sure most, if not all, of the subject is skylined. If part of it merges with the horizon, it will result in an image where you can’t tell the difference between the horizon line and the subject.

Composition
If the sky has extreme drama, zoom out and allow the color in the clouds to dominate. Try shooting verticals and horizontals and place the subject in the rule of thirds.

Exposure
Be careful how you meter. The more space the silhouetted area takes up in the composition, the more you'll need to compensate to the minus side to maintain detail and color in the sky. Check the histogram and LCD to see how much is necessary. Bracketing will help ensure you get the result you want.