Follow my steps in this blog post for a simple silhouette project for the home.
First, let's talk about the theory of how to get a silhouette in a photo. The basic concept is to have a very bright background such as sunrise, sunset, bright window, and a subject in front of that bright light source. Then when taking the photo adjust your camera settings for the bright light in the background. The subject should then be a silhouette.
In this project, I will also be creating a parallel YouTube video on my YouTube channel. But not today. I did not get this video ready yet. It may be a few weeks, but leave me a comment below if you are interested in a video version for this blog.
Silhouettes of people are probably the most common subject used. I am going to do that here and I will share some tips on posing for a silhouette.
||Stick people are not good for photos, so make sure you create or wait for the gap(s)
Let's Do This
In this section let's get the technical details and steps of how to set this up. If you have help you can have someone be your model while you take your shots. However, I tend to do these projects solo, so that is what I will be explaining here.
You will want a sharp silhouette, so starting with an aperture setting of about 5.6. This will give you some depth of field to have a more forgiving focus point. Set your ISO to 100 or 200 and your shutter speed to about 1/500 to 1/1000 of a second. Remember we will be wanting to expose for the background.
Do not use auto, aperture priority, or shutter priority because the camera will try to expose for both and will do a poor job at that. Your camera is not as good as your eyes and has a much smaller dynamic range for exposure. The camera can adjust for the subject or the background in this setup, but not both.
Are you in manual mode? That is where we need to be. Also, if you have been reading my tips on Mondays, are you shooting RAW, JPEG, or both? This is a good photoshoot to be in RAW mode to all for post-processing touchups.
The settings I am suggesting are just a starting point not a one setting for all silhouettes. In some cases, my suggestions won't be close. What ever settings you end up on, take a few test shots until you are seeing the silhouette you want.