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Friday, 15 December 2017 10:29

Photo Tip: Creating Silhouettes

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It's that time of year, folks. The mornings are brighter, and the evenings darker. But don't let those early evenings get you down! Now's a great time to take advantage of the lower angle of sunlight and play around with silhouettes. 

To get the best result with this technique, go out on a clear day at a time when the sun is not directly above you. Late afternoon is great, but you early risers can also create awesome silhouettes in the early morning. First, make sure the sun is behind your subject (otherwise the subject will be lit, which is the exact opposite of what you want) and set your exposure for the sky.


Again, though you CAN do this in the middle of the day, it’s much easier to do later in the afternoon or early in the morning.


This is a really great technique for capturing the colors of the sunset or sunrise while incorporating the subjects in the foreground in an interesting way. In order to create a clean silhouette, you really want to pay attention to your background. If there are objects or obstacles around your subject that are also in front of your light source, they will also be in silhouette. 


So to recap: 
Make sure your light source is behind your subject
Expose for the background
Make sure there are no other objects in the way (unless you want their outline included in your silhouette)
Snap the photo
And voilà!

Charleston has plenty of clear days and beautiful sunrises (or sunsets) for you to try out this technique. Send us your best silhouettes and we’ll share them on our Facebook page!

Chris Nelson

Photographer / Videographer / Production Manager. Received a degree in photography in 2009. Has since been published in numerous national and regional publications such as HGTV Magazine, Cottages and Bungalows, Charleston Magazine, Grand Strand Magazine, House Calls, and Charleston Wedding. Resides in Hollywood, SC with his wife and 2 rad boys. Enjoys playing music, fishing, and Game of Thrones.

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