Statue of St. John of Nepomuk on Charles Bridge on River Vltava, Prague

Silhouette of Charles Bridge in Prague

Silhouette Photography is a great way to capture the colors of the sky. They are mostly taken during sunset or sunrise. To see some inspirational silhouette photographs, visit the silhouettes that inspire page

Here are some tips to taking interesting silhouettes  pics that I have picked up over the years and now sharing with anyone who might be interested:

Choose a good subject

Remember that the details in the subject will be lost and so you want to make sure that the subject has a strong distinctive outline. The fact that the details will be lost is great when the subject has a lot of distracting colors. Pick a location where there isn’t much clutter in the background.

Point at the Sun

Face the direction of the sun. When you do this, the light from the sun is illuminating the other side of your subject and you are shooting the side of the subject which is dark. If you keep the sun behind you, the details in the subject will be visible since the sky and the subject will not be very different in brightness. The best time to shoot a Silhouette is during sunrise or sunset when the sky has lots of interesting colors.

For Manual Camera Users

If you are metering for the subject, then underexpose the photograph by a few stops. This will ensure that the subject is dark and also gives you the most colors in the sky. You could also choose to just meter for the sky itself. Try a few different exposure levels to get it right.

For Automatic Camera Users

Most modern point and shoots let you set the exposure on your camera.. you’ll probably see this as +/- EV setting. Set this to -3 EV if possible. The other way to ensure you get the exposure you want is to point the camera towards the sky, half click the shutter release button. When you half click the shutter release button, the camera takes a meter reading and adjusts the camera to expose for the sky. Now, while keeping the shutter release half clicked, point the camera to the subject. Once you’ve framed the subject you wanted, you can press the button completely to take the picture.

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