Iconic Silhouette


Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-210mm f2.8 lens with Canon 2X Extender Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-210mm f2.8 lens with Canon 2X Extender

The above image was made in Kakadu National Park in the Top End of Australia. The bird, the color of which was actually light grey with dark wings, did not at first sight make a very compelling image. But by shooting into the light, from a lower angle of view, a fairly dynamic silhouette resulted.

It's important to understand that as they are rendered black, against a brighter background, the individual identity of the subject is often lost. As a result it may be impossible to discern the following:

¨    Age

¨    Gender

¨    Ethnicity

¨    Clothing color and texture

With individual identity lost a well constructed silhouette becomes less about the individual and more about an iconic, sometimes mythical or archetypal rendering of the subject. Not Warick the warrior, but the Warrior. So, with virtually all individual identity removed, to ensure the subject stands out it is essential that they are positioned in such a way so as to form a graphic shape.

The image was made with a Canon 5D camera and Canon 70-210mm f2.8 Macro L series USM lens. The lens's telephoto capability was enhanced by the use of a Canon 2X Extender (sometimes referred to as a tele converter), which effectively doubled the focal length to 400mm, allowing me to increase subject magnification and isolate the subject from its surroundings.

The original image was rendered into black-and-white and then split toned in Adobe Camera RAW. Final image enhancements were applied in and Adobe Photoshop CS3.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy