I’ve always been fascinated with how to represent a family outside of the typical formal portrait. You know the one, everyone in a park sitting on the grass, or running along the beach at sunset. This time I decided to try the “Victorian Silhouette” approach.
We all happened to be together this summer for a family reunion. So on the morning of the last day, I managed to recruit my family to participate…..even before pancakes were served.
- Zoom lens (although next time I will try with a prime lens and stand in the same place for consistent framing)
- White bed sheet
- Hang the sheet over a window to create a white background. The window does not need to have direct sunlight.
- Over expose the image by 1 to 1 1/2 stops to achieve a white background
- Assure people that know one will see their hair or the features of their face
- Try to frame each image with the same amount of negative space around the subject. This may get challenging when you have adults and kids
- In Photoshop choose the white eyedropper in the Levels Adjustment layer
- Hold the Alt key while selecting different areas of the background to ensure everything this white
- Move the middle slider on the histogram to the right to blacken the portrait
- Merge the layers
- Choose the Magic Wand tool and select the white background
- From the Selection menu inverse the selection, so the black silhouette is chosen.
- Choose Edit –> Fill and make sure the Black option is selected
- To create the collage, I used JHP’s photoboards.
Thanks, really useful. I was going to just cover them in tar and stand them in front of the fridge but this might be a little less messy.
Cracking up: “Assure people that know one will see their hair or the features of their face.” Great project. I think I will give it a shot at Thanksgiving…
Perfect occasion! Have fun 🙂 (just remember to hold the mashed potatoes hostage until everyone participates)