How To?? Shoot the Perfect Silhouette
A well shot silhouette is one of the more simple yet most stunning examples of an underwater photograph when done well. Although a brilliant silhouette may look intricate and difficult to get right, it’s often the composition that has made it stand out rather than a technical setup. With a few tips, anyone can learn to take a great silhouette photo, here are 5 tips to get you on the right track.
- Use a fast shutter speed: it’s the shutter speed that freezes the light rays, use as high of a shutter speed as you can. Don’t forget to turn off your internal flash if you are shooting with fibre optics, the internal flash will limit your shutter speed capabilities
- Block the sun: by blocking the sun with your main subject or leaving it outside of the frame, the “rays” take centre stage and are not overshadowed by a bright sun ball
- Don’t use too high of an f-stop: the higher your f-stop the darker the edges of the photo become, if you want the silhouette to stand out against a brilliant blue then f8-f11 is the perfect f-stop
- Choose a subject that is recognizable in silhouette! Large subjects such as mantas, sharks, and turtles work well as silhouettes.
- Try shooting on shutter priority: Shooting “natural light” is the only time I might consider shooting with anything other than Manual mode underwater. By choosing shutter priority and then selecting a shutter speed of 1/500 I know I will get very nice sun rays if I compose my photo properly and the sunlight is right. As the sun rays are the most important part of a silhouette, then having the correct shutter speed is my “priority” on the shot and I can let the camera figure out the f-stop if I am moving quickly.