When used effectively in an image, silhouettes are incredibly striking. When we are first learning photography, we often put so much focus on achieving the correct exposure that we forget to experiment with other lighting effects. By exposing a brighter sky correctly, a subject in front of the sky will be black, or silhouetted.
This image by Elliot Young displays a fantastic use of silhouette. I really like the gradation of colors in the sky – this makes the image more interesting. You will also notice that the deer are all facing forward so that their ears and shapes are clearly defined. It is important with silhouettes to make sure that your subject is identifiable – a deer on the ground might look like a blob.
If there is one area that could be improved in the image, it is the tight crop. I would like to see a little more free space to the right and perhaps a bit more of the tree. Now, as a viewer we can wish for many elements, but I do not know what the conditions were like when Elliot was out taking pictures. Perhaps a barn or car is to the right and would have complicated the image. However, I recommend always backing off when shooting – you can always crop later, but you cannot add to the image!
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