Creativity exercise: silhouettes + partial silhouettes

Continuing with our theme of window light, this week we're going to work on silhouettes and partial silhouettes. 

The exercise this week is a simple one, but if you've never shot an image like this before, it might take a bit of tweaking to figure out your exposure. 

Using a window in your home, create a silhouette or a partial silhouette. 

A silhouette is where the person is completely black and a partial silhouette is where you can still see some features, but the majority of your subject is in shadow. 

In order to achieve a silhouette, you'll need to have your subject in front of a window (backlit) and then expose for the light outside the window, not for your subject. Meter off the sky and see how things turn out. The greater the difference between your inside and outside light, the darker your silhouette will be. 

Keep in mind that you'll see what's outside of your window, so if you have a lot of trees or distractions out your window you may need to adjust your angle or your subject until you can get a clear silhouette. If you're still struggling with distractions, try shooting UP to your subject so that you're lower and you have mostly the sky in your window. 

If you don't have a full length window you can always do just a silhouette of a head from the shoulders up, or could get creative a do hands or legs. 

In post processing, converting to black and white and increasing your shadows/blacks will often help emphasize your silhouette. 


If you give this exercise a go we'd love to see what you come up with! Post to IG and use #unscriptedmentoring for a chance to be featured and so we can see your beautiful work! 

- Kelly