I just had a holiday at Anyer beach with my family and took some silhouette pictures. When I showed them to my sister, she asked me how to do it. So these are a few tips on how to take silhouette pictures:
- Make sure there’s a backlight or in other words: the main source of light should be coming from the back of the object or in front of you. So that means if you are in a beach and shooting in the morning, you should face east where the sun is in front of you. And vice versa if it’s in the afternoon.
- Expose for the bright sky not for the object. If you expose for the object (meaning: you put the focus point on the object), the camera will compensate for the dark object and make it brighter not darker, which the whole point of silhouette is all about. If the camera fails to focus because the sky is low contrast, you can focus on the spot between the sky and the object.
- Because the object is in dark, as in silhouette, it has to be in a recognizable form or shape. So if the objects are a few people (doing whatever they’re doing), make sure that they are not too close to one another that it’s so hard to identify what they are. Other wise, they will look just like some black blots.
- After you push the shutter button halfway to lock the focus, you can recompose the picture, just don’t release your finger on the shutter button yet. Then after you’re satisfied with the picture you see on the view finder, you can press the shutter button completely to take the picture.
Bonus tip: you can add a ‘starburst’ sun behind the object by using a high-number aperture (e.g.: F/22).