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How to Make Your Photos Stand Out With Silhouettes

DId you know that your DSLR can do more than what you think it can do? When you get out of AUTO, you can really bring out the beauty that is hiding within!

What is a Silhouette? It's basically a fancy word for saying that your subject is in the dark and the background is lit up brighter.

There are many different ways to do this.

Sometimes your camera might have a preset already in place for this... if so - great!

I know my camera DOES NOT! So I had to learn how to do it manually!

The best way to do it, is by making sure that your background is good to have a silhouette.

A sunset is a great example, maybe an aquarium backdrop. Sometimes, it's a door way or a lit window behind the person.

I took this one at a wedding last year! The door way made the perfect light around them.

At the aquarium, my kids were darkened by the lights and the fish were lit up!

Here is another one of us at the aquarium!

I love this one with the fish..

This one is my husband standing at sunset in a forest...

So you get the idea. So HOW DO I DO IT? Well, the easiest way to go MANUAL on your camera and play around with the aperature function. What is that? You might ask. Remember from a previous blog post that the Aperature, the Shutter Speed and the ISO, all work together to make an image. The aperature is the opening of the lens "eye" like the pupil of the human eye.

To make a silhouette, I just close my aperature a little bit by doing 4.5 or higher (depending on the situation.)

This photo is the perfect before/ after shot.

The first frame was taken at ISO 100, shutter 1/250 and aperature at 2.0

This second frame was taken at the exact same settings, except the aperature. I bumped it up to 4.5 or 5.... but I can't remember the exact number. I just played around with it until I got it right.

Then I had my dauther raise her hands, so that you could see action!

I did bump up the contrast a bit in lightroom, but the image is still pretty much how I shot it!

Just make sure that your background is not getting in the way or too busy, so that your subject is lost!

Here is my son dancing at home. I love how you can still see a little bit of his face in the dark.

This was shot at a friend's lake house last summer. I had her boyfriend lift his hands. It was kind of funny looking, but I love the result!

This is my daughter on the slide at the park!

I would love to see your photos using these principles: Hashtag me on Twitter (@_MarshallArts_) , instagram (@chicamarsh) or facebook (@Marshallartsstudio)!

Keep Shooting!


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