10 Creative Ideas for Silhouettes

Silhouettes are tremendously romantic. However, due to overuse, they risk becoming cliche. Try building new ideas off of some existing ideas.

1. Against the Sky

The sky can come up with some amazing color concoctions when the sun hits it just right. This has caused it to be one of the most popular subjects of photography. However, no matter how gorgeous the clouds are painted, you can still enhance your photo with some foreground. Since the sky is usually much brighter than objects on the ground, it should not be hard to capture a silhouette even if it is in motion. 

2. Cross the Sun or Light Source

Building on the previous idea, if the sun is close enough to the horizon, you can adjust your angle so that the foreground subject crosses the sun. This will cause the rays to create a star effect across your silhouette.

3. Against a Bright or Reflective Ground

In some situations, you will find that the ground is much brighter than the people on it. This can either be due to the color, such as with snow, or due to the ground being wet and reflecting light towards you. Shoot someone against this ground for another silhouette.

4. Aquarium

Aquariums illuminate their tanks nicely so that the patrons can see into them. Take a step back and shoot some underexposed patrons looking into the blue water.

5. Against a City Skyline

Many cities have a tower from which people can gaze at the vast skyline. The people standing in these interior locations will be far darker than the skylines that they are looking at. Shoot from behind them to get a unique shot of the city.

6. Skyline against the Sky

Reversing the roles from the previous idea, you can also silhouette a city line against a bright sky. This will only work at certain times of day since skyscrapers reflect light pretty well. As long as you are looking at the dark side of the buildings against a radiant sky, you will get a silhouette.

7. At Night in Front of a Lit Window

Silhouettes can also be captured at night. Shops often keep their display windows lit overnight so it should not be hard to get a silhouette in front of one.

8. Showers

During a snowy night, look for a spot in which a street lamp is back lighting the falling snow. You can then position a foreground subject against the illuminated cascade. Similarly, many fountains are lit up at night so that a silhouette can be captured against them.

9. Through a Tunnel

Position yourself in a tunnel or any similar location that creates a dark frame around a bright center. You can then shoot a silhouette surrounded not only by light, but also another frame of darkness.

10. Indistinguishable Contortions

There is no way to know what details exist in the darkness of a silhouette. You can raise the curiosity of the viewer by having your subjects positioned in an unusual way. The mystery as to how they got into that position will be endearing.

Silhouettes can make for beautiful photography. There are plenty of unique ways to capture them if you take a look around with a fresh perspective.

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