How to Photograph a Silhouette Portrait

Sometimes, less is more. A silhouette shot can be starkly beautiful and get the message across. Sometimes, more effectively than a 'regular' shot. Read this article to learn one way of doing it.

Steps

  1. Image titled Photograph a Silhouette Portrait Step 1
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    Be sure that you are including the surroundings in the photo. This helps to give your viewer the context of the image.
  2. Image titled Photograph a Silhouette Portrait Step 2
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    Try these settings. Adjust them as needed.
    • Metering mode: Evaluative
    • Drive Mode: Single shot
    • Shooting mode: Aperture priority
    • Aperture: f/8.0
    • ISO setting: 800 or higher
    • Focus mode: Single shot
    • Autofocus point: Single autofocus point
    • Focal length: 50mm to 80mm (remember the conversion rate if you are shooting digital)
    • Image stabilization: Use it if you got it
  3. Image titled Photograph a Silhouette Portrait Step 3
    3
    Tell your subject where you want them to stand. Remember that they will need to be in front of some type of light source. Try these tips:
    • Outside: Photograph with the sun at the back
    • Indoors: Have them stand in front of a window or a lamp
  4. Image titled Photograph a Silhouette Portrait Step 4
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    If you are inside, turn off any other lights. Obviously not the one behind them.
  5. Image titled Photograph a Silhouette Portrait Step 5
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    Zoom in fairly closely, but be sure that some of the background is visible.
  6. Image titled Photograph a Silhouette Portrait Step 6
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    Compose your image. Put some thought into how you want the final product to look and do what you have to to get it that way.

Sources and Citations

  • Information found in Digital SLR Settings & Shortcuts for Dummies, 3rd Edition

Article Info

Categories: People and Portrait Photography