As we get caught in complicated lighting setups and sophisticated equipment, we forget about the simple stuff.  Silhouettes make for really cool and dramatic images.  They easily convey a story because of their simplicity. Action sports are perfect for capturing amazing silhouettes.  Athletes and their attributes are well defined and have recognizable shapes.To create a silhouette you need to place your subject in front of a bright light and make sure the subject is darker than the background.  The more exposure difference you have between your subject and the background the better the silhouette you are going to get.  A Great way to get silhouettes is to place the sky behind your subject at sunset.This technique is pretty simple; make sure you are choosing an angle so that the action could be lined up with the sky as a background.  Point the camera towards the sky and set the correct exposure for the scene…..and that’s it!  Well, not really… now you have to wait for the action to happen so you can capture it with perfect timing!You can use all kinds of light sources, flashes or whatever else, but make sure there is at least a few f-stops of difference between your subject and the bright background.Although it sounds pretty simple It's easy to mess up and ruin the effect.  The background should be clutter free so there are no lines or other objects that interfere with your athlete.  If you have two or more subjects make sure they are separated and in the right position so that your viewer's can tell what they are at first sight of the image.

When it's the end of the day on your next shoot, and you are tired form shooting all day while carrying big flashes around, go natural and have some fun with silhouettes.  You'll get some amazing images for sure!


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