Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting silhouettes, part of Exploring Photography: Backlighting.
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- Silhouettes are one of the obvious backlighting options…that you have. They're very simple to do.…The sun is really low.…I'm basically right in front of it…casting a big shadow in your direction,…and being rendered in complete black.…This is a very dramatic,…very graphic way of representing a scene.…Obviously, if you do this you're giving up on shadow detail.…When I'm in silhouette, you can't see anything on my face.…So, that's just a decision you're going to have to make.…When is it best to represent something…in this very pure graphical sense,…and when do you need more detail?…Now, one thing that's cool about silhouettes is that they…flatten things down to a very singular photographic plane.…
Here, I'm in total black and silhouette…as is the background.…So, it becomes just an exercise purely in shape.…It's something that we're actually use to seeing…in the real world.…Though our eye have tremendous, dramatic, dynamic range,…a silhouette is still evocative of late afternoon…of that particular kind of light that happens…
Backlighting can add drama to almost any subject, from leaves to hair, to smoke, to glassware. In this course, photographer, author, and educator Ben Long explores the creative options and exposure challenges behind backlighting in several difference scenarios, from landscapes to portraits, using both natural and artificial light sources.