silhouette photography is a very popular variety in photography.
The meaning of the word “silhouette” as per oxford dictionary – “the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background”
Meaning of silhouette from other web based sources include, -
“A silhouette is the image of a person, an object or scene consisting of the outline and a basically featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black.” – wikipedia.
“A silhouette is a dark shape and its outline is seen against a lighter background.” – answers.com.
“A two-dimensional representation of the outline of an object, as a cutout or configurational drawing, uniformly filled in with black, especially a black-paper, miniature cutout of the outlines of a famous person's face.” – dictionary.com.
So, we can assume silhouette as a dark outlined shape of any person or object without any texture or color inside. Although, usually there’s no color observed inside the silhouetted shape, it isn’t at all difficult to identify the object.
You can very easily identify the figures,
Fig 1: Bust sculpture of a human.
Fig 2: A guy with a guitar.
Fig 3: A horse.
Fig 4: A tree.
The figures shown in the example 1 are the perfect silhouettes. These are created in photoshop by digital drawing. Silhouettes can also be created by editing an existing colorful picture.
But silhouettes can also be photographed. See the picture to the right. It shows a tree photographed in form of silhouette.
Occasions for silhouette photography
Silhouetted photographs are usually taken in bright backgrounds. Because, it will make the object colourless and only present the outlined figure to the photographer.
In nature, Bright backgrounds are often available during dawn and sunset hours because, at these times, the sunlight is horizontal i.e. parallel to the ground. If the sun illuminates the object or the scene from the foreground to the background, a silhouette can not be photographed. So, silhouetted objects can be photographed when during sunset, the sun moves behind the objects such as hills, buildings, etc. and illuminates the background making the foreground dark.
See the picture to the right. A picture of a city during sunset hours creating a beautiful silhouette.
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