Lighting is the most important aspect in shooting the pictures, but you can also click great pictures without lighting [Photography lighting techniques].

When clicking images, you add up lighting to the subject in the picture while neglecting the background frame. But, Silhouettes are different from the normal photos and pictures; the combination of these pictures varies from the normal mundane pictures.


Silhouettes are distinctively different and are pictures with dark subjects and light backgrounds. The subject in the Silhouettes photos can be anything, but the subjects should be dark. This is a different technique to explain emotions, moods, mystery or drama.

These pictures never show off the perfect meaning in the photo. They always hide a perspective and leave an imagination for the viewer about the hidden subject. The basic strategy in clicking Silhouettes pictures is the subject should be dark or blacked out without any light source.

The working style of taking Silhouettes pictures is interesting and you have to follow some basics to make the Silhouettes pictures appealing.

How to take appealing Silhouettes?

Turn off your flash: The Silhouettes are known as dark subjects with light background. Turning the flash on will add light to your subject and ruin the Silhouettes shot. If your camera is in automatic mode, see that the automatic mode does not ruin your photo and add lighting to the photo. Silhouettes can also be taken with lighting and flash modes, but these pictures will not be complete silhouettes and miss the original essence of Silhouettes [Camera flash].

Choose a subject: You can click great silhouettes pictures with almost any subjects but the pictures will be good if you have a strong and dark subject. Make sure that the subject should be in a strong and recognizable shape with dark texture. Some regular and normal shapes also add elegance to the Silhouettes photos.

Lighting: Silhouettes need lighting, but in the background, diminish the subject lighting. In normal photographs, you add lighting in the front of the subject to highlight the subject. But Silhouettes are different with strong and dark subjects. You can make the Silhouettes pictures better by adding lighting to the background of the subject and hence making it even darker and stronger [Problems with Natural lighting].

Composition: This is very important aspect in any picture, make sure that the Silhouettes composition is perfect and matches the subject. The composition is different when compared with the normal photographs. The Silhouettes photos composition is normally the sky without sun and clouds. Your lighting composition should highlight the background and the lighting should be behind the subject.

SilhouettesDifferent shapes: The shapes in the Silhouettes photos should be uncluttered and distinct. If there are many objects in the Silhouettes picture frame to click, then keep the subjects apart for clear Silhouettes.

For e.g. If your subject is tree and a person, maintain a respective distance between the subjects. If proper distance is not maintained, then the person will be merged into the vast tree and the tree gets highlighted.

Proper distance will enhance the subjects in the pictures. While clicking Silhouettes images of persons see that you click the person from a side view while highlighting the features.

Focus: Both the background and the subject carry an equal importance in the pictures. So, proper focusing is necessary to highlight both. You should not ignore the background or even you should not ignore the subject. Make sure that the subject and the background are not in out of focus.

Try these tips for clicking the Silhouettes successfully.



  1. Hi

    I have a ‘Fujifilm Finepix S1000 fd’ camera. I want to know how to take a perfect Silhouettes.


  2. i used to own the camera until it died out on me. now i own a nikon. but taking silhouettes with that camera will in fact require a tripod. i tried without it and i just could not succeed. select a high f stop and a fairly quick shutter speed. set everything to meet the light meter as if it is on the background. then snap your photo. it may take a while but that should do it =]

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