Saturday, March 26, 2011

How To Take Silhouette Shots


We live in a somewhat brown little town in Texas.  I love where we live, but sometimes the scenery around me isn’t very inspiring.  It isn’t the most photogenic place.  But, we do have GORGEOUS sunsets, so I find myself taking lots of pictures of the sky.  Hence, my love for silhouette photography. 
Taking silhouette photos is really pretty easy actually.  You really only need three things: a well lit background, a subject, and a camera.  You don’t even have to have an expensive camera, pretty much any camera will take these kinds of pictures. 
First step: turn your flash off. 
Second step: frame your shot.  This means making sure your subject is as back-lit as possible by placing them directly in front of a bright light source (the best time for these photos is sunrise or sunset). 
Third step: focus your camera on the brightest light source in the shot (but don’t blind yourself looking at the sun through your lens okay?).  Then, shift your camera slightly so that the subject is framed in the shot just how you want it.  Point and shoot camera’s usually have an auto-focus which allows you to focus your shot by holding the shutter-button half down.
Fourth step: take the picture. 
It might take a bit of practice.  If your subject isn’t dark enough in the photo, no worries!  You can always adjust the exposure later while editing. 

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Silhouettes are some of my favorite pictures to edit because the simplicity of the subject allows you to play with all kinds of fun backgrounds without distracting too much from the focus of the shot.

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Something to keep in mind: silhouettes obviously don’t pick up on the detail that normal shots do, so you want to make sure that your subject is recognizable.  For example, a silhouette of boy hugging a tree might just look like a shapeless blob.  Just thought I’d throw that out there for all you folks who like to take pictures of people hugging trees.  I know it sounds simple, but sometimes poses that really work for a regular shot, will not work as silhouettes. 
That being said, there are lots of poses that work especially well for silhouette shots.  I like photos that capture movement and energy.  These kind of shots are especially dramatic when you can only see the outline of your subject. 
In an attempt to get a more interesting shot, I told Spencer to do something dramatic with his arms.  This is what he came up with:


See?  The YMCA is INFINTELY more dramatic when captured in silhouette form right? 
Happy snapping!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Love Story

Lately, I have been really into reading love stories.  I’ve been doing lots of babysitting and needed something to do during naptime.  I recently re-read Icing on the Cake my favorite chick lit book of all time.  I’ve read it a hundred times.  You haven’t read it?  Go.  Read it NOW.  It is funny and cute.  Plus, Elodia Strain (the author) is super nice.  The sequel Previously Engaged is awesome too.
Then, my friend posted the new Jane Eyre movie trailer on her blog, and after watching it I had to go back and read the book again.  I think the last time I read it was freshman year of high school.  The problem is, I’m almost finished and am on the hunt for another romance novel.  Anything delightfully sappy will do.  Suggestions?

Monday, March 21, 2011


Yesterday we went exploring.  We got in the car and drove until we felt like stopping.  I brought my camera along. 
We ended up at the lake.  I sat on the dock, closed my eyes, and listened to the waves.  The wind was blowing and the air was cool and I could imagine that I was at the beach. 
It had been weeks since I had picked up my camera; I didn’t really take any pictures during my creative slump.  I had forgotten how much I missed it! 
One of my favorite things about photography is that it makes me really pause and look at the beauty around me. I notice things I might not have noticed.  And then I can look at that beautiful flower or sunset or face that made me so happy again and again. 
The world is really such a lovely place. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Has it really been almost a month?  I would say I’m surprised that I haven’t posted in so long, but I’m not really.  I mean, this is me we’re talking about.  The most inconsistent blogger in the universe.
I could feed you some lame excuse as to my absence.  Like, my dog ate my laptop.   
But the truth is, I haven’t been in the mood to write lately.  Or scrapbook.  Or take pictures.  I have been completely uninspired.  I don’t usually go more than a day or two without making something or other, so this was kind of unusual.  Lots has been going on, but I can’t really talk about it.  Not in an “I’m trying to pique your interest and appear mysterious” kind of way.  Just stuff with jobs and stuff with adoption and stuff with life.  I’m sure you all know how that goes.
On Saturday, I FINALLY burst out of my creative slump and made something. 
Our friend’s little girl had her first birthday.  So, I made a little dress to give as a gift.  It felt so good to be sitting at my sewing machine again.  As I  worked, I couldn’t help but wonder how long I would have to wait to make little clothes for our baby.  Surprisingly, the thought didn’t make me sad like I thought it would.  Now THAT, my friends, is progress.