Creatively Abstract: Tips and Tricks for Silhouette Shots

A silhouette is an outline that usually stands out darkly against the background. By playing with silhouettes in your photos, you not only add mystery to your subject, but also put them in the center of attention without losing the wonderful details in the background - for example, the romantic sunset or those unique cloud images. With these tips, you can easily create mysterious silhouette photos.


Shoot against the sun. If you rotate the shooting angle so that the sun is directly behind the subject, you'll achieve the silhouette effect most easily. Then you simply press the shutter. In the photos, your background will then shine brightly and your subject will appear dark, often completely black. Small tip: make sure that you adjust the camera settings to the bright background. The goal is to get the background right and your subject underexposed!

Credits: gregoire1969, shoegazer, teresa_raw_analog, alyx & juniardigiugno


If you photograph through an excitingly designed window from a dark room to the outside, everything appears dark except for the world outside. If you now place a subject in the window, you create an image in the image!

Credits: amalinakhalid, pmonroe, anuthin_instant & teachkiki

The Dark Sides

Shadows are silhouettes too, of course - so why not find an exciting background and play with the distortion of the shadows. You can make a self-portrait out of it or create abstract paintings.

Credits: laphotoargentique, izike, gionnired, donkanaille & gabyo

It's All About the Film

The higher the contrast of your film, the more the shapes in your image will be reduced to light and shadow, i.e. their outlines. Also, underexposing your subject a bit helps. In combination with the right subject, you can create abstract and exciting creations. A little tip: B&W film often works best.

Credits: photobob, candeeland, wil6ka, astonuts & quietedheart

Double Exposures

If you now want to reverse the whole thing, and not highlight the silhouette in black but fill it with a different pattern, double exposures are just the thing for you. If you leave a part particularly dark in the first exposure, the second exposure appears particularly clear in this part! How exactly this works, you can learn here.

Credits: reizueberflutung, orangebarn13 & hodachrome

Do you have any tips and tricks for incorporating silhouettes into your photography? Share them with us in the comments, we are already curious!

written by alinaxeniatroniarsky on 2021-04-12 #tutorials

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