The fascinating thing about silhouettes is that our eye can always make out the forms. We’re in a way mentally-programmed to try to make sense and associate more abstract shapes to those we are familiar with. Guess that’s why those ink blot tests can reveal so much about our psyche as well.
Silhouettes are mischievous in the way that they give us just enough of a taste of what the subject is but without too many details (that are oftentimes not even important for the shot). It’s a challenge to capture the viewer’s imagination in this way, but not being too abstract that we forget what we’re actually looking at. Capturing great silhouettes takes an ample amount of technical proficiency too. You need to find the light and not be afraid to point towards it – but be careful to avoid lens flare. Read more about how to achieve such captures here.
For this week’s silhouette theme (see full album), we chose to feature Dima’s shot below. With just the right composition to heighten the dramatic mood of the airport at sunset with its geometric shapes, this shot truly speaks for itself:
It doesn’t even matter which airport this was taken at or whether the people in the shot are returning or leaving, it tells a distinct story we can all relate to on some level. What do you think of this shot? Share your (constructive) feedback here.
Side Note: Elias Moubarak recently shared an interesting photographic experiment in the post “Faraway Streets” that he was doing on this specific way of seeing and how we try to interpret familiar shapes, for anyone interested in exploring this topic from another perspective.