Two men in Arab robes on a sand dune
Colour,  One Word Sunday,  Photographic techniques,  Sunday Stills,  Themed galleries

Gallery: blackness against the light

In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present

Sir Francis Bacon

Silhouettes are a great way to create drama in an image. By eliminating details they evoke mystery and can be enigmatic. They take to extreme the balances in contrast that we all work with in our photography.

For Debbie’s One Word Saturday ‘Black’ challenge I’ve put together a collection of silhouettes taken over the years and around the world. Many were taken at sunset or sunrise as nothing enhances a beautiful sky shot so much as an interesting silhouette in the foreground. But a few show some different takes on the theme. And because you can’t have black in a photo without light I’m also linking to Terri’s Sunday Stills theme, ‘Seeking Light’.

Note: some of these photos have appeared in previous posts, and a few have been edited to emphasise the silhouette effect!

and by the way

Large tree with water spray and patchy clouds in the sky behind

Tree at the Victoria Falls Hotel, early morning, with the spray of the falls beyond

Orange sky with small tree

Tree at sunrise on an early morning walk at Huab Lodge, Namibia

Elephant spraying water with his trunk against a setting sun

Retired riding elephant bathing in the Narayani River at sunset, Nepal

Lamps at the Emirates Palace hotel, Abu Dhabi, at sunset

(no, I didn’t stay there!)

Three ornate lamps at dusk

Street lamps at dusk with West 66 motif

Street lamps in Albuquerque, NM, on the stretch of Route 66 that passes through the city

Domed buildings silhouetted against the sunset

Sunset at the Vyas Chhatri complex of cenotaphs in Jaisalmer

Rocky outcrop with tower seen from the sea at sunset

Sunset in Muscat, Oman

(note the two tiny figures by the watchtower)

Tree and shrubs silhouetted against hazy orange mountains

Sunset at Jebel Shams, Oman

(more photos of that amazing sunset here)

Large birds on a dead tree silhouetted against the sunset

Egrets at sunset, Fort Kochi, Kerala

Silhouette of a bird on a post with a hazy sun disc behind

Bird at sunrise, Souimanga Lodge, Senegal

Silhouetted sign with metal cut-outs depicting a wagon train

Sign at a motel in Lander, Wyoming

Bridge arches and cables silhouetted against a bright sky

Brooklyn Bridge, NYC

Statue of a man with outreached hand silhouetted against an adobe building

Statue of St Francis outside the cathedral in Santa Fe, with the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts beyond

Silhouetted statue of a man holding a hat

Statue of Magellan, Punta Arenas, Chile

At a Bowie photo exhibition at MoPop, Seattle

Person in a hat silhouetted against a photo of David Bowie

Man silhouetted against bright coloured lights

In a neon sign shop, Soho, NYC


Do share your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!