More silhouettes

Translucent umbrellas–I held 4 umbrellas to see if we could get an interesting image. Too bad I didn’t have more colors to choose from.

When I worked at the newspaper, there were many occasions when I didn’t have assignments.

Those slow news days meant lots of room in the paper with nothing to fill the pages with.

That was the perfect showcase/opportunity to challenge a photographer’s creativity to come up with “wild art” or feature pictures.

Exactly what is a feature picture? Feature pictures are just any “found situation” unposed, unexpected with a human interest.

That last part ” human interest” is often up for debate.

In a pinch any interesting image that has strong graphical design will work. For that, silhouettes are hard to beat.

There is another bonus to shooting a silhouette when I worked at the newspaper.

I didn’t have to hassle with identifying the person—there is no detail in their faces and therefore they are not recognizable. Read more about taking pictures in public .

The toughest part about silhouettes is finding a location where the background is clear of clutter like power lines and street lights–distractions that ruin many otherwise good pictures.

In the city of Riverside, we are fortunate enough that right next to the banks of the Santa Ana river are bike paths which lead all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

And yours truly happens to know just the location where you can park your car and walk about 20 to 30 feet then wait for cyclists and fitness enthusiasts go by as they enjoy the outdoors.

Staying in the shadows-To eliminate flare and loss of contrast when light shines directly into the lens, I stayed low in the ditch and in the shadow of Khai and Erika. See an overall view.

Silhouettes work best when you, the photographer, is in the shadow of the subject.

So the light source, the sun in this case, is behind the subject and you are shooting at a subject that is heavily backlit.

If you are not framing the subject tight, then your camera’s meter should be fooled.

Which in this instance is okay. We’re not looking for detail in the subject–just looking for an interesting recognizable shape.

Finding a subject was effortless.

Almost immediately we came across 2 young,svelte athletic guys stretching who looked to be warming up for a run, so I asked if they wouldn’t mind posing.

When they got bored with our attention, I tried various recognizable objects like a sombrero, my daughter’s blue parasol and even an electric guitar for props.

Here’s a small selection of pictures from my students.

More Silhouettes

Next: Making the silhouette even more dramatic