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January 18, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Photoshoot: Silhouettes technique project

Publication: Digital SLR magazine - edited by yours truly

Kit: Not much, just my Canon 7D and a Tamron 70-300mm

So, for my day job, I edit Digital SLR magazine. Recently, we decided to cover the easy and fun technique of shooting silhouettes. Essentially, creating a silhouette is a form of underexposure. Instead of correctly exposing the subject, you expose for the background, which should be of interest - a sunset for example.

Shooting silhouettes is the perfect technique for revealing a subject's form. Instead of distracting texture, the viewer focuses on the skeletal frame of the subject so useful things to line up in front of the lens are easily recognisable subjects, such as churches, people or in my case a tree that has been stripped bare by winter.

Luckily for me, the golden hour was king and gave me a lovely orange sunset. My gear set-up was simple, just a 7D and Tamron's affordable 70-300mm lens, which is actually a damn good optic. The longer focal length meant I didn't have to trespass onto the farmer's field where my subject was positioned, so I could shoot, without a tripod as the shutter speed was high, by the side of the road.

The result was a strong silhouette and while we went for an overall image of the tree in the magazine tutorial, I actually preferred the close up of the tree's branches criss-crossing.

Give this technique a go when you next get the chance. It takes seconds and produces great images. To learn more about my mag, visit: www.dslruser.co.uk


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