I really like using silhouettes in my work and Powerpoint presentations because I think they can very quickly convey powerful ideas in a relatively neutral and unambiguous manner. I call this silhouette series “Look”
There are several ways you can create silhouettes in your photography. One way is photo editing – Adobe Photoshop ($) and Gimp (free) are two powerful programs available on the market that can help you ‘select’ the areas you wish to silhouette, or darken. With a few simple clicks of your mouse and some technical knowhow, silhouettes can be easily created for any photo after the fact. Yet, it’s also possible to create silhouettes straight out of your camera. One way to accomplish this is to position your subject in such a way that the foreground is much darker than the background. Shooting directly into the sun without any camera flash for foreground light is perhaps the easiest way to create an almost automatic silhouette, but it’s also very possible to do it with the sun off to the side, and some knowhow around camera settings (higher shutter speeds, smaller aperatures, low ISO). In any case the rule of thumb is simple; keep your foreground dark and your background bright. In this case, I used both my camera and software editing to really exaggerate the blackness of my silhouette. This photo was taken in Northern Nunavut and features my brother.
File Speed: ISO 100
Aperture: ƒ/6.3 (with polarizer)
Focal length: 70 mm
Shutter Speed: 1/320th of a second
Filter: Hoya HD Circular Polarizer, 77mm