This is the latest from my photography tutorial website, Picture Like This.
Step 1: Find a Large Light Source
Step 2: Shoot Into the Light
Also make sure there isn't much light hitting the subject from another source, like fill flash, ambient light, or anything else. The technique relies upon your subject being much darker than the background.
In case you're wondering, there is a way around this - here's another tutorial on properly exposing everything in shot:
Step 3: Shoot Subjects With Interesting Outlines
Use a good angle to get the best possible view of the outline and create the most impact.
This is good news for old sports cars, women with great bodies and not-so-great faces (jk, but really), kids with juice stains on their shirts, and a host of other interestingly outlined subjects - for example:
Step 4: Autofocus on an Edge
And chances are, if you're doing it right, your subject won't have much light on the surface facing you, so you won't be able to lock focus easily on anything but the edge anyway.
Step 5: Pump It Up With Software
You can even use selective editing if you can't achieve the effect you want by moving sliders. Use a layer mask to isolate the subject and just darken that portion of the image. Be careful not to go overboard though - if you don't get the mask and the boarders just right, it can look fake. A little detail is ok, but try to tone it down as much as possible to create the mystery.
I used Lightroom to darken these people standing in front of the same wall as the first picture because it wasn't quite contrasty enough for me - some ambient light caused a foggy glow.
Step 6: Experiment and Keep Learning
Keep learning by checking out my photography blog and tutorial website, Picture Like This
Thanks to everyone who has supported the site and blog by subscribing and sharing our links on the internet. The best thing you can do is post these tutorials elsewhere so others can see and benefit from them too.
You can find the silhouette photography tutorial on my site by following this link.
Until next time, happy shooting!