Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A Shot In The Dark

Today I am so, so without inspiration of any kind. I wanted to say something interesting about silhouettes, and how they work in a set of images to create a shot with less focus on the subject(s) and more on the entire scene, invoking a mood rather than making a statement about the subject.

Ben and Margo, Tweed Art Gallery, March 2008
Michael and Theresa, Mount Tamborine, July 2009
Jessica and Darren on the Goodwill Bridge, May 2010
Here's Cath and Doug at their fabulous elopement in Cairns. Boy was it hot and super-glarey on the Esplanade! I took one shot of them balanced for the background and filled with flash, then zoomed out for a different shot in silhouette, same exposure settings just no flash.

What made me start thinking about this was an image from yesterday's blog, which until yesterday had never been published. We took several like this with mum in silhouette just before the sun rose, and I like the sad/thoughtful/pensive feel of the shots, quite different to those I took of her where she was lit by the rising sun. I'm sure shooting the image in black and white contributes to the mood as well.

A good silhouette needs space around the subjects so they are not just a blob and you can still see details like a facial profile, or a bouquet or veil if the event happens to be a wedding.

Rusty Digits, somewhere in Canungra I think, December 2008
Shannon and Aaron, Noosa, August 2011
Of course one of the basic principles of creating a silhouette is shooting with the light source in front of you, balancing for it and not filling light in on the subject.

Darcy on Kirra Beach, November 2009
Kate and Gary, Brisbane, August 2007
Claire and Cliff, Fraser Island, April 2006
If you're clever you can even crank up the exposure and get a little bit of rim lighting going on for a golden halo around your subject. This works best when the sun or the light is low and the general level of ambient light is also low.

Rebecca and Simon, Murwillumbah, June 2010
Looking for shells on Burleigh Beach, December 2009
Ramona and Courtney on Mount Tamborine, June 2008
An interesting background also helps to make a silhouette into a great photo that tells a story.

Claire and Cliff, Fraser Island, April 2006
Justine and Darren, Mount Tamborine, July 2007
Kylie and Roy, Mount Tamborine, Mach 2007
Mary and Steve, ZLAC Rowing Club San Diego,. September 2007

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