Monday, October 05, 2015

Reflecting on silhouettes

click photo to enlarge
One of my early blog posts had the title, The eponymous silhouette, and reflected on how the finance minister of Louis XV, Etienne de Silhouette (1709-1767) spent much of his retirement with paper and scissors making that to which others gave his name. The piece accompanied a photograph of my wife and some small trees in silhouette form in front of a view across a stretch of water in the Lake District. In those early years I posted quite a few photographs featuring silhouettes, often including my wife, but also of gulls, street lights, ducks and much else. Silhouettes in images are very strong forms with heightened impact. Shapes that are of little consequence when brightly lit assume much greater significance and become more attractive as a photographic subject when seen in silhouette, no matter how mundane the subject might usually appear to be.

Consequently, on a recent walk in the Yorkshire Dales near Langcliffe, the sight of the silhouettes of trees and a couple of gates with a distant valley and mountain beyond, immediately drew my eye. I took a shot of the subject and then, realising how much stronger the image would be with a person in silhouette too, I asked my wife to step into the shot.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 42mm (84mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0
Image Stabilisation: On