Photography: derived from the Greek photos (“light”) and graphein (“to draw”). ¹
If you think about it, light is both the subject and the paintbrush for most photographic work. It can help bathe a subject in color or brilliance, bringing out every detail – or, when a light source is behind a subject, it can actually obscure the features of the image. Silhouettes are wonderful images of a different sort.
When I take pictures, I’m now learning to pay attention to the sources and values of light in my viewfinder. It used to be that I was just trying to capture a face, a place, or a moment.
On a recent paddle down the Lieutenant River when tides were high, we came to these branches dragging in the water, and commented on the shapes outlined by their silhouette. Do you see a duck? A fish? An arrow? Anything else?
One fun aspect of photography is learning to use settings to capture the same subject in different light. With new digital options, we can even do this after the fact. Walking on the Air Line Trail one overcast afternoon, I captured the near silhouette of two trees, with just a small splash of color from the leaves. Using software later, I was able to enhance the image… which do you prefer?
I can remember, when we were children, shining a light against our profiles, and tracing the outline of one another’s features onto a paper taped to the wall behind us. We cut out the outlines to create silhouettes. Now, using our cameras, we can use light to create shadow images of a different sort.
The results can be wonderful!
This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge on WordPress.com’s Daily Post. This week’s challenge topic is Silhouette. To learn more about the challenge and to see the large images posted by other bloggers, click here.
Here’s an earlier post on this topic, with other backlit images: https://theretiringsort.com/2012/08/24/travel-theme-silhouette/