heather schramm-lifestyle photographer

Austin Lifestyle Photography

Taking sunset silhouette photos is fun and easy.  If you use these few tips I think you’ll agree.

First you need a subject that is obvious in shape.  This photo was taken at a session I was doing for this awesome yoga instructor and I couldn’t resist as the light was getting just right.  City skylines tend to work pretty well in this scenario and I’m sure you can think of a handful of other subjects that would do too.  If I was doing a family portrait session I wouldn’t go for this shot because it would then just look like a big black blob with heads poking out.

Next, the great thing about these shots is you only need to expose for your sunset.  Once you nail your setting for the beautiful sunset those rich blacks just happen on your subject.  With that being said, just make sure you are shooting in the direction of the sun.  And your subject will be between you and the sun.

So let’s get our setting for that rich sunset.  There’s a handful of ways to get this but what I find as an easy fool proof way of doing this is to knock my exposure compensation down a bit.  That’s the button that usually has a “+/-” on it.  I typically end up going down a full -1 or even more.  For this image I lowered my aperture to f/11 which also darkened the image by letting less light in.

I will say I ended up adding a magenta filter on for this shot because I liked those hues for this client.  The only difference that made was in the upper left corner where you have the nice magenta toning it was more of a light blue.  It looked good that way too but I thought this fit better for her.  The filter definitely wasn’t necessary.

So all and all pretty easy, right?  Way easier than having to add some fill light back on our subject.

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3 responses

  1. Gorgeous tones and the wispy clouds frame her beautifully!

    July 15, 2013 at 1:12 am

  2. Wonderful shot, superb ! I never try this, it looks pretty easy, I’ll try it someday 🙂

    August 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm

  3. Nicely put Heather. It’s good to see other photographers besides myself are happy to give tips. I think it shows passion, belief and certain amount of generosity. I love the shot of the yoga guru and the magenta works a treat. I did a rare commission a few weeks back involving a sunset and a three year old child. It was a difficult shot to get but I have permission from the family who commissioned the work to publish it on WordPress. I might just do that one day soon. Hope you are having a fab weekend. Cheers, K 🙂

    August 30, 2014 at 8:32 am

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