Capture life in silhouettes: A beginners guide

Hello friends,

Life is always busy isn’t it?! Get up at 8 am- breakfast at 10 am – shopping- lunch at 3pm  – a small sleep- a cup of tea- cricket- late night movies,  wow so busy life  is!

No problem, I will give some ideas on spending a little time in the evening  and get some great photos that will make some news on Facebook!

Silhouette subjects

Silhouette photography is wonderful way to express story,  mystery, mood, drama, emotion without caring about the detail of the subject. Though the subject is black has no details    it acts as  a symbol or reference to the surrounding environment. They play with viewer’s mind and sometime makes  viewer feel themselves in the picture.

There are many way to capture silhouettes but I will explain only the beginners stuff here!


Check out for areas where you can see sunsets at your eye level not above eye level.  A good example for the good  location  is a street on a hill, or like a platform. If you are living in Bangalore I can suggest you some places  .Very good places I like  are Lalbagh rocks, Kengeri satellitle town .


Wait, relax, watch through view finder or LCD. Look or animals, kids playing, human behaviors , emotion ,drama, moment .Do not just include two birds and a sun. That is a very old shot and over shot. Visit again and again. There is nothing wrong in visiting same place again and again and take one or two good pictures.

evening dance, f5.6,ISO100


There is no rule for this but I can give few general  suggestions  as per my taste.

Do not include lots of blacks.

keep the surrounding simple and understandable.

Try to keep your main subject at 1/3rd of the frame.

Capture the moments!

But you have to find your own taste and creativity in this case.

Winter in Bangalore, f8, 1/500sec, iso400


Camera settings

Zoom  little bit, do not stay close to the subject unless you are going with really wide lens and doing some creative composition. If it is DSLR I prefer nothing less than 60mm and I go up to 200mm. If it is digicam  I would go minimum 30% of the zoom bar.

You need silhouettes very crisp and sharp. So DSLR guys do not shoot less than 1/500th of a second. Do whatever it takes to get that shutter speed.If you are not getting that speed even a 1/60 sec should be good provided your subjects are not moving and you have a steady hands.

Shoot at shade White Balance if you are not shooting RAW.

Digicam guys go with the sunset preset if you have in your cam( most of the cams will have it these days)

f8,1/60 sec, iso800


f1.8, 1/30sec, iso800,


If you have shot in RAW add little more warmness to get a yellow or reddish sky. But do not overdo it so that all the silhouettes looses their black and the whole picture looks reddish.

All the above pics are little more creative , needs practice and a good control over camera. But following are simple, powerful, expressive. I can express so many things with these 18 photos. If you think you can add a couple of words to any of the photos  you are most welcome.


I went Lalbagh rocks, Bangalore on a crowded evening. It was a lovely colorful sunset with lots of people and happenings. In a span of 20-30 minutes I captured more than 50 shots  using a 55-250 lens. Out them I am showing you selected 11 shots.

laughter, happy


crowd, noise
mischief, freedom

Last note

These types of images are starters. As you move on you will find so many ways of   capture silhouettes. Check this out link . This link also. Or google it. You will be amazed to see so many amazing pictures.


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