A couple weeks ago, I participated in the Winter Wings Festival in Klamath Falls OR. I took several classes to improve my photography skills and got to see a presentation by George Lepp. George has been taking pictures for over 50 years, and was recently presented with Lifetime Achievement Award by the North American Nature Photograhy Association. He is a regular contributor to Outdoor Photographer magazine. I was able to visit with him for a few minutes before his presentation – a true gentleman, wonderful photographer, and a great presenter.
One of my classes was silhouette photography. The timing wasn’t great for the field portion of the class, but we did the best we could and I learned a lot about the technique. The key to a successful silhouette image is the background. For those fine art shots that people like to hang in their homes and offices, black outlines with a brightly colored background works great. Think sunsets and sunrises. Another key element is to be as low as possible to ensure that there’s a clear connection with the ground. Get low to ensure that feet aren’t lost in the foreground, for example.
For the images from class, I relied on pretty skies and the details in the trees to make the composition work.
Here’s a few images from the class.
I made this image with my trusty Canon PowerShot G9X Mk II. The instructor, Lisa Langell, told me I passed the class when I showed her this image in camera.
Not a perfect silhouette but still a fun image. Everyone was making images of the Eagle in the tree.
There were several Eagles in the area while we were there, and this one was circling before landing in the nest.
The sun was still in the sky, so I took advantage and made it a part of the composition.
This wasn’t my first attempt at silhouettes. In 2015, I made this image of my neighbor’s house and yard.
I was intrigued by the moonlight and the warm colors in the yard lights, but the tree silhouette on the right became a critical element of the composition.
And this from the Siskiyou River in Florence, OR.
I chose to not make the pilings and birds totally black, but it still counts as a silhouette.
My best silhouette to date was shot in 2016 in the Pinenut Range just east of my home.
A moonrise always makes a good picture – even better with a creative foreground.
Enjoy – PHOTOROGR