Photographing Silhouettes

Photographing silhouettes is one of my favorite things to photography.  Silhouettes are so dramatic and so easy.  All you need is a bright light source and something to put in front of it.

Last week we went to Sea World and it was the first time I brought my big camera.  I wanted to recreate this shot I took on my point and shoot last year.

And almost exactly one year ago later I got this shot on my big camera.  I love the colors so much more.

Canon 5D Mark II, 24-70 2.8

F 2.8, 1/25, ISO 1600

(For this shot I sat on the ground and braced my elbows on my knees in order to avoid camera shake from the slow shutter speed)

To get this shot I:

1)  Didn’t use my flash.  Make sure your flash is turned off!

2)  Placed my subject in front of the light source.  For this image I simply put Brayden in front of the bright aquarium.  You can also do silhouetted shots with your subject in front of a window.  If you are shooting outdoors you will want to wait until the sun is low on the horizon (sunrise or sunset) and place your subject in front of the sun.

3)  Instead of exposing for the person I exposed for the background.  When I am shooting pictures normally I tend to overexpose a bit.  With silhouetted shots I am either exposing the image for the background or I am even underexposing it a little bit.

It’s really that easy!  Have fun!


  1. lisacng says

    beautiful and great tips. I want to try this sometime!!!
    lisacng´s last blog post ..San Antonio {photos}

  2. krystal says

    LOVE! We are headed to the beach tomorrow for the weekend! I will def. be trying to get some like those last 2 shots!

  3. Meg Malley says

    Great tips and very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!

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