Any camera can take stunning silhouette photos. All that’s required is the right lighting (artificial or sunlight) because you are effectively taking a photo of a shape. When it’s printed and framed, the viewer gets to see enough of an outline to imagine what the photo is.
It is a simple way to create your own dramatic photographs without hiring a pro.
All it takes is light to be placed behind a subject and the photo shot from the front, at a distance with space between objects to let soft light show through spaces.
It adds an air of mystery to photographs, inviting people to fill in the blanks.
3 ideas to have fun making photographic prints with silhouettes
Photographing tall buildings at night
City centres are lush with large buildings. London more so, but even high-rise flats can make stunning scenic photographs when you capture only the silhouettes.
When photographing tall buildings or even bridges, the best photos are usually taken from the ground level, up close with the camera angled upwards. It gives the shot a majestic feel adding drama to what would otherwise be a photo of a block of flats or a big office building.
Taken at night, the skylight becomes the backdrop and if there are people in the building, there will be more lights on adding more interest to the photo.
Silhouettes at the beach
The beach is the easiest place for anyone to take striking silhouette photos. Just go at sunset and the lighting is perfect. That’s usually around 8 pm UK time in summer. It always varies though. Depending on the weather, you could have up to an hour of fun. Sunset lasts from 30 minutes to one hour before it begins to get too dark for photographing.
Within that time, there are all sorts of photos you could be shooting. Baby bump photos, parents holding their little one up in the air to snap a photo against the soft backdrop of the night sky, someone running down the beach flying a kite, or bring the dog and a frisbee to snap a silhouette photo of the dog in a mid-air leap catching the frisbee.
Fun with Flowers (or weeds)
Floral silhouettes can be interesting because every flower has unique characteristics. One that can make stunning silhouette photos is the dandelion, although, it is technically a weed. That aside, when it goes to seed, it is not the yellow dandelion most of us are familiar with fighting out of the garden with weed control.
Leave it be to go to seed and then you will get the white puffball. Children love them whereas some adults have a real dislike for them.
They are the wish flower. Pick it up in the garden, blow the fluff into the air and make a wish.
Capture a photo of the children, or grandchildren holding a white puffball in the air, get down low and point the camera upright towards the sky. With enough space and distance, you could capture a facial silhouette. Get the timing right and you could catch the tiny seeds being dispersed into the air, just as the wish is being made.
That would be a photo worth printing and framing. Memories and art rolled into one.