My absolute favorite thing to incorporate into a photo session is the silhouette.
Most people think it’s so tough to create one but in fact, it’s rather simple.
There are many different ways you can create and process a silhouette and some of the time it’s a personal preference not only in your style and how you photograph it but also in the post processing. I’m a fan of a bright background, a little sun flare, and a total black foreground area.
To actually take the photo, I do not change any of the settings I use during the session but usually change the aperture to between 7.0-8.0 and meter for the sky. I get as low as possible to the ground, ask my clients to spread out, and then do something such as jump, kiss, run, etc. It has taken me some time to nail this down but I’ve found that once you get the hang of it, you can create some really amazing images.
How you edit the images is a personal preference. Below, you can watch how a fellow photographer and myself edit silhouettes.
Click Pro Beira Brown shares a silhouette of a family in a field. The image is almost perfect in camera.
Within ACR, she warmed the image by adjusting the temperature and tint sliders and then opened it in Photoshop.
Once in Photoshop, she added a little more yellow and magenta to get her final image.
For me, I do the majority of my edits in ACR. I look at how the photo ‘feels’ and edit from there.
The SOOC image showed details in the clothing, had a crooked horizon, and had some items such as the sign and the one toe of the little boy that needed attention.
In ACR, I substantially increased my black slider as I’m a fan of total black silhouettes. I also added a little blue by adjusting the temperature and tint sliders and decided to work the rest in Photoshop.
Once I opened the image in Photoshop, I decided to rotate the image clockwise until the horizon was straight. As a result, the lighthouse was crooked so I duplicated the selected lighthouse and rotated it to where it was straight and then merged the two layers. I cloned the beach sign in the corner and the toes of the little boy to make it look more realistic.
Voila! There you have both mine and Beira’s edited photos. Silhouettes add a touch of variety to a session so don’t be afraid to have some fun and be creative!