What Settings Should I Use for Silhouette Photos

few weeks ago I posted this photo on my Instagram account, and several of you requested a tutorial on settings to use for silhouette photos. I took this particular photo with my iPhone, so I decided I would share a tutorial for both! 🙂 Below I will you show you my 4 easy steps for Silhouette Photos on a DSLR *and* an iPhone. Fall sunsets happen to be my favorite, so this is the perfect time of year to practice silhouette shots! 🙂



My Quick and Easy Recipe for Silhouette Photos (DSLR)

1. Take a picture of the brightest part of the sky (i.e. the sun at sunset). Zoom all the way in so that the sun is completely filling the picture, as much as you can.

Note: If you want to capture action (i.e. people jumping in front of a sunset) be sure and first put your camera in shutter priority mode and set your shutter speed to at least 500. For more about how to take action photos see this post: How to Take Tack-Sharp Action Photos

2. On the back of your camera, press the play button to see the picture you just took. Then press the INFO or DISP button*. This will bring up a screen with information about the photo. Press it a few times until you see the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO used to take that picture.

*This button may be slightly different depending on your camera’s make and model. If you don’t see this button, do a Google search for your camera’s name and “playback display” (for example, “Canon 7D playback display”) to see how to do this.

3. Once you’ve determined the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO used to take the photo of the sun, switch your camera to manual mode and input the settings from the sun photo. This is the easy way to shoot manual! 🙂

4. Now just snap away! 🙂 Get low to the ground and position your subjects in front of the sun. Focus on them as you take photos. They will be silhouetted out and the sky will be bright behind them.




Silhouette Photos on an iPhone

I know there are many camera apps that can do this but I use Camera Awesome. It’s free and you can download it here.

1. Touch 2 fingers to the screen and two boxes will appear: Focus and Expose.

2. Drag the Focus box to the middle of the screen, or about where your subject will be.

3. Drag the Expose box to the brightest part of the sky (for example, right on the sun).

4. Put your subject in front of the sun or bright sky and snap away! 🙂

If you have a favorite camera app that will do this too (iPhone or Android), please tell us in the comments!







And just in case you are ever wondering, you can always click on any photo on my site to see the camera, lens, and settings used. 🙂

Hope this helps!! Have a great day! 🙂


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