Exploring Silhouettes

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This month, over at Kat Eye Studio, the Exploring with a Camera theme is Silhouettes.

In thinking about this subject, I realized how infrequently I use silhouettes in my photography. A search of my archive revealed only a few examples of this technique. And yet, it would seem the abstracted and simplified nature of a silhouetted shape would naturally appeal to my photographic eye.

Perhaps it is because I rarely shoot at sunrise or sunset – the classic times when colorful skies serve as interesting backdrop to silhouetted figures or objects. Could I create intriguing silhouettes without shooting during the golden hours?

As Kat explains, silhouettes are all about shape. And so, I began my search for interesting shapes – ones that could stand on their own against a blue daytime sky. For me, this was an appealing challenge – to distill an image down to its essence of line and shape and interaction with the light. Shooting for silhouettes was a revelation – a new way of seeing the world around me. A deliberate approach to framing and composition that make the most of pattern and shape.

It’s good to have another technique in one’s photographic arsenal. Another way to bring the world into focus. Another way to bring the beauty of our vision to light.

Here are a few of my silhouette finds. Thanks to Kat for the inspirational lesson.

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Linking with Exploring with a Camera

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Posted on February 24, 2012, in Photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Love these shots and your description of distilling the shot down to line, shape and interaction with the light. I love the clean lines you’ve used in many of these shots and the focus on pattern. Beautifully done.

  2. Especially love your graphic..geometric silhouettes. Such great lines in these!

  3. a new challenge expands us as artists and as persons.

  4. Yay! I’m so glad to read this Brenda. I’m surprised you didn’t have more silhouettes before this either, since your images involve so much shape and line, they seem a perfect expression for you. It’s so cool to think that this opened another way to express this! I especially love the diagonal fence. So simple, yet beautiful. I’m so happy to have you linking in to Exploring with a Camera!

  5. It is surprising that you haven’t taken many silhouettes. I think you are the master of paring down to pattern and shape, Brenda! You help us see the beauty in a simple fence, and the branches of a tree against the sky. I love, love, love the third shot….something about the off center triangle and the lines that speak to me. Beautiful!

  6. I too was surprised to read that you use silhouettes infrequently because of your love for lines and shapes. These are wonderful. I have two favorites–your composition of the tree branches with the sun…stunning in its simplicity. The next photo…triangles and lines with those circles. You definitely distilled the “image down to its essence of line and shape and interaction with the light.”

  7. Brenda, I love the last two shots! I don’t know why on earth a wicked-looking chain link fence topped with barbed wire would appeal, but it does. I love its graphic qualities and repeating patterns against that lovely blue and cloud-white sky. There’s a story there, too: are we on the outside looking in? Or inside looking out and longing for the freedom of that sky?

    The last one is another mystery. Where am I? Am I trapped? Or is this a safe place to hide? I also like the warm colors, texture, and straight lines of the bricks contrasted with the flat black raggedy edges of the silhouette.

  8. good for you, looking for some daytime silhouettes.you’ve found some beautiful ones and they are so you! i really love the barbed wire shot.

  9. I agree with other commenters that it’s something of a surprise that you haven’t done much with silhouettes before now. But you are a fast study! My fave? The last one with the light coming through the rusted lace of the old roof.

  10. Love them — especially the last one. So intriguing!

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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