Today, I am jumping back into my year-long project based on the book 52 Weekend Digital Photo Projects. On pages 172 – 175, the authors walk you through a step-by-step tutorial on how to take some sharp silhouette photos.
I ran over the local big-box department store and picked up a $5 chess set. I already had a desk lamp that I have been using in other low-key shoots based on this book. The lamp was right at $10.
For the set design, camera settings, and post-processing, go pick up the book.
While shooting, a couple of problems showed up. In the first few shots, the pawns were set up too close together, the king was not sharp, and the cheap chess board was buckled where it folds.
I re-read the directions and realized I had set it up incorrectly. Once I did exactly as they recommended, the shot came out great!
Also, I experimented with using various-colored notebook dividers as gels and held them between the lamp and the subject.
In another shoot, I used the same technique to back-light a tulip in a low-key setup. I used a red notebook divider as a gel and held it between the flower and the desk lamp.
This was a fun and simple shoot, but I really haven’t had much need to use this setup. I think its application is simply for creative art, but its application is really limited. It can be used for dramatic silhouetting to create images for your stock portfolio. If you can think of other applications, I’m all ears!