I got up early to exercise at a park down the street from my apartment. It had been an unusually hot week in Southern California, but this day was cooler and humid. I live in a beach community outside of Los Angeles and we're used to fog and cloud cover. This morning the mist was especially thick and, with the sun rising in the east, it made for an eerie morning. After exercising, I came back later and took this picture while sitting in my car as I was heading to work. The diffused light of the Sun didn't make for the darkest silhouettes and I'm sure some post-production could make this picture look better, but I'm satisfied. -Alexander Alarcon
Camera: Pentax MZ6 Lens: 28-90 mm F3.5-5.6 Film: Illford Delta 100 B&W camera was set to aperture priority around F16 if my memory serves me right, shutter speed was about 250th second. i developed the negatives myself then scanned them using a flextight x5, with minimum post editing just to clear up dust marks.
I had recently found a couple of 35mm films lying round my room and decided to borrow my housemates camera so i could shoot them (as mine is currently broken) so quite by chance i had the camera with me on my way home from a BBQ on the common when i came across these free-runners and chose to sit and observe them for a while as they started to get more adventures. After a phew minuets i decided to take a phew frames resulting in this shot. -Alexander Ward
Taken in Julian, San Diego county. This was the sunset right before a vicious rain storm which hammered the area for the following two days. -Andre Mere
This was going to be my first contest and I had all but given up by Friday afternoon. Then, on the way home from work I decided to go to downtown Chicago to shoot some photos just for fun. I found myself at the Cloud Gate shooting photos and I shot this just for fun to see how it would look. Once I pulled it into Lightroom and cropped out some people in the bottom I decided to use it. Overall I shot about 200 photos of 'The Bean' and kept four, including this one. -Barry Smith
After taking what is considered a short 5 day trek in Nepal (The beginning of the Annapurna circuit), I reached Poon hill which offered a great view of the mountains as the sun slowly rose. I feel that this picture captures everyone's excitement of being far away from cities, cars and the noise. -Benjamin Stearns
Taken in israel on top Mt. Harmon over looking the Dead Sea. -Ben Milstein
Just got a new Canon D-60 and was out testing it down on the Boulevard, which runs along the SW side of Gloucester Harbor. There was an older Couple there with several loves of bread, providing lunch for about a hundred Seagulls, and get this, she was feeding them "Split Top WHITE Bread!"
One of the Gulls sidled up to me and in a forced whisper, confided that the Gulls as a Group, were disappointed that she never showed up with some Fish that they could put between the slices of bread, which he added would be better, if it were Whole Grain and not that left over stuff, that it seemed even she wouldn't eat. Anyway, this one shot came out as a Silhouette. Wasn't going to participate in this Challenge but when I saw this Image, I decided to have a go at it. -Charlie Carroll
I was in my neighborhood the night of October 1st experimenting with long exposure and stars when I took this picture. This was one of the last shots I took and I was about to quit for lack of success, but I'm glad I didn't. I found this picture very relaxing and decided to submit it because of the silhouette the trees made against the blue sky and it's reflection in the canal. -Charlie White
Taken from the roof of the hostel that I was staying at in Florence, Italy. There was a beautiful overlook of the whole city from the roof deck, so we spent quite a few hours on the deck in between excursions into town. Started as a simple afternoon, but after a few bottles of wine and some pizza, we just wanted to take our clothes off and dance! And thus, this picture was born. After many tries at this photo, we finally nailed the perfect positions! -Chase Eriksen
I've never entered any of the contests here at Gizmodo but was pretty shocked at how luckily timed this one was as I had just got a few good shots earlier this week. I was recently hiking and at a ridge there was a view with extremely beautiful clouds along with a very nice silhouette of the treeline. It was one of those "in the right place at the right time" moments during magic hour and I was lucky enough to capture this photo. Editing work was kept to a minimum of noise reduction and a slight saturation boost using Capture NX, Noise Nina, and PS for resizing. -Clement Laksana
Settings: Apeture priority: f32 Shutter: 1/400 ISO 200 Auto settings for white balance and exposure
This is a picture of 1:200 scale model of the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Since I live in the valley of the sun (Phoenix, AZ), I figured the sun would be a good background and also an easy way to get the silhouette effect. This is the morning sun at about 7:45 AM. I put my model on the back wall of my backyard. It is a stucco'd block wall so it's somewhat suggestive of mountains with its craggly surface. I tried to get the smallest profile of the model's stand so as to minimize its importance. Without the stand, the model would had to have been handheld which with both a handheld camera and handheld model would have been difficult to say the least. Also, I think my big paw in the middle of the silhouette might be harder to explain. -Cory Newkirk
As evening was coming, I pulled the cheap blinds in our apartment shut. My wife piped up and asked, "Did you see the bug?" I re-opened the blinds carefully and there on the edge of the window was a Chinese Mantid.
As my wife and I are expecting our first at the beginning of December, I've been on the hunt for as many insects as possible. Rather than go with a theme from Babies R Us, we've decided to decorate our nursery with photographs of insects both locally, as well as from the Butterfly Conservatory we visited last week.
As the Chinese Mantid (Tenodera aridifolia sinensis) was on the window sill, I immediately thought of trying to capture it as a silhouette for the contest I read about earlier in the day. I grabbed my Nikon D100 and Sigma 105mm macro lens, and set about trying to photograph it. Because the light was fading fast outside, I used a wide open aperture and high ISO setting on the camera.
In Photoshop, I adjusted the exposure 1/2 stop, and increased the brightness and contrast a bit. I also increased sharpness a bit and ran the photo through a noise reducing filter because of the high ISO. Nothing else was changed, and I hope these additional changes in photoshop don't disqualify me, but I really thought they helped with some of the limitations of an older camera while not affecting the photo in relationship to the spirit of the contest. -Dan Godwin
Well just got back from Lake Powell, got a lot of sweet shots, and noticed Giz was hosting a silhouette challenge. Been reading Giz for a while now, new to the contests though and thought I enter since I got a really sweet shot. Camera was a Olympus UT6000, exposure 1/500, ISO-100. The picture is of a friend hucking a back flip off of a 20' tree. Got the boat in the right position and he let er' rip! Laid it out perfectly and snapped the shot! -Dan Sample
Nikon D5000, Sigma 70-200 2.8, 1/1250, f/4.0, ISO 100 As I was driving through the country on my way home I noticed several cattle in front of this beautiful sunset. I pulled over quickly and crouched on the side of the road to get the desired angle. I was a little rushed as I attempted to avoid being run over but I tried to make the best of it. -Doug Auerbach
Camera is a Cannon Rebel EOS Ti that was temporarily gifted to me by my roommate. Its a film SLR and I have very little experience with them so the most I can tell you is that it was developed at Walgreens, and those are two bulldog statues in front of an about:blank screen in Chrome. Probably was on auto since this was one of the first pictures I took with the camera. -E. A. Wooten
technique and story behind shot: Took this shot on Thursday morning on my way to work as I was sitting at a red light. I saw the squirrel trotting across the power lines and immediately reached for my camera in my pocket. The squirrel first ran across a powerline above the traffic light directly in front of me, and then took a ninety degree turn left onto the one pictured. I was barely quick enough to get the camera out of my pocket and snap the picture before the light turned green. Would have liked to have been quick enough to get a shot off when the squirrel was on the line directly in front of me for a better perspective, but the one and only shot I was able to get off when the camera powered on, turned out better than expected upon further review. -Erik Hazen
This photo was taken while I was out with my dog; I'd taken my camera along just by chance, to do some opportunistic shooting. I stayed out for much longer than I intended too, and as a result, caught the sunset. This is my favourite of several similar images I caught over the 10 or so minutes that the sunset lasted. Equipment was a Canon EOS 550D with EF-S 18-135mm lens at 1/40s, f22, and ISO800. -Freddie Joyce
Shot on a Canon EOS 450D with 18-55m lens. Shutter speed: 1/60 F-stop: f/10 ISO: 400 Focal lenght: 25mm Meetering: spot Self Portrait in front of blinds in new house. -Gary Grant
Last night there was the most surreal sunset I've seen in a while. I was in my room, looking out the window, and noticed everything had this very yellow-reddish tint. I went outside and this is what I saw. -Grant Grillo
Took this picture on September 29, 2010 at the Rush concert when they played in (near) Atlanta, GA. Amazing concert and I was fooling around a lot with the ISO. Sure enough, when the flames hit and I got this shot. I knew I had stuck gold. Especially when I saw it on my laptop! BTW the origional picture is 3968x2232, so if anyone wants it as their desktop pic, feel free to ask! -Gregg Searles
I used a D5000 with 18-55 VR lens. My Dad's Fiance was asking for me to take some photos of her bike for the past couple months. Finally had the chance to so I decided to try a silhouette shot also for the contest. -Harvey Taylor
This photo was shot early in the morning (around 1 a.m.) on Sept. 27, 2010, using a Canon Powershot SX10 IS. This was shot after a raging barn fire had been extinguished, when smoke was still heavy in the air, and I was angling for a better view of the damage when I saw the outlines of firefighters against the smoke and shot it on a whim. -Jenn Paluzzi
I took this picture above the fence next to the place I'm staying in Queensburrow (near Vancouver), BC, Canada. I got up to take out the trash in the morning and it was exceptionally foggy, which doesn't happen very often here. I had actually eyed another shot, went inside and got my camera, took it, then wandered around a little until I found this one. Not much of a story, but that's how it happened! -Jess Gibson
I took this picture while driving west down a road towards a high school football game tonight. (Very hard to drive while taking a picture!!!) The shading at the top is from the windshield of my car, but it came out for a pretty neat effect. Taken with a Canon PowerShot SD780IS at f/3.2 with a 1/160 shutter speed at 80 ISO...I wish I could actually have manual control over these settings without having to hack the firmware....Oh well! I guess that is what differentiates DSLR's and point-and-shoots -John Brady
This was shot around 4pm as the sun was starting to move towards the trees. Shot with a Canon A650 IS, at ISO 80, 1/2000 sec, f5.6 and -2 exposure. And for sheer fun, I chose to use my Masterpiece edition Optimus Prime as the subject. -Jordan Brown
iPhone 4 ISO 80 4mm ƒ/2.8 1/539 This picture was shot this morning in Paris. I usually wake up as the sun rise in front of my bedroom. For once it was a perfectly clear sky (there's even a contrail !) I change the contrast and saturation with iPhoto and I used my iPhone 4 to snap the pic. -Jordan Downey
It was a long day of shooting and driving without getting the results I was looking for. So, after my last trip into the desert yielded no fruit, I drove by this really cool tree on the way home, at which time the sun was near setting. So I pulled off the road, waited just a little bit for the color to get just right and snapped a photo. There is nothing better than an Arizona sunset, in my opinion. -Karson Hatch
We were having fun near a river side in Chandigarh, India..The sunset turned into a beautiful shade of yellow. setting the compact on auto-timer we stood in a yoga pose(praying to the sun),when the pic was just about to be clicked, my friend unable to hold his position in tight jeans fell down, making it a perfect capture. -Ketan Gupta
This is actually my first shooting challenge, and the sky was so beautiful Wednesday night on campus that I had to skip class to take pictures. Out of all of the pictures I ended up taking, my favorites were of the Clayton residence hall (The tall building in the background.) I took numerous other pictures, but this silhouette one is really neat as you can see the lights glowing through the windows of some of the dorm rooms and the sky reflecting off of others. The coolness of this is that my RA, who was playing frisbee with a few other students, suggested that I take some pictures of the residence buildings against the sky. If he didn't suggest that, I probably would have just ended up taking pictures of clouds! I used a the stock 18-55mm lens that came with the camera. -Leonarda Beal
Camera Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Focal Length: 50.0mm Aperture: f/5.6 Exposure Time: 3.000 s ISO equiv: 1600
The light pollution is showing us the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. The Luxor's spotlight is on the left, seen here from 21 miles away. The light pollution over Las Vegas is so bad that there are only a few stars visible from within a mile or so of the strip. On a cloudy night like this, you can read by the light coming back off the clouds. These power lines are bringing electricity from Hoover Dam to southern California, to give them some light pollution too.
Camera was on a tripod on the side of the road along US95 just south of Boulder City, NV. Everything manual, shutter on bulb. Exposure was trial and error with a remote shutter cable until I felt the exposure was just right (Goldilocks method). Photoshop only to resize. No crop/color balance/any of that other fancy shmancy stuff. If you REALLY want to know where I was, plug this into Google Maps: 35.8540, -114.9314. -Luke Austin
This shot is one of many that I took of an insane sunset that happened in La Jolla. I used a Canon 7D DSLR with a Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens. This little guy is becoming my most used and favorite lens on the 7D crop body. It's about a 48mm equivalent so for all intents and purposes, the classic 50mm range. Shutter speed was 1/100th of second, aperture was f/8, and the photo was shot at ISO400. The image was recorded at around 7PM, right after the sun went down below the horizon line.
Driving to work the morning of, I noticed an incredible cloud cover over San Diego. This was the second day that the clouds were scattered beautifully, leaving streaking, wispy, fluffy, cottony beauty all over the sky. I was determined not to miss an incredible sunset and decided to leave work at a decent time to go capture the beauty. There's a well-known spot overlooking La Jolla Shores next to UCSD so I decided to go there. Not surprisingly there were bystanders already enjoying the sunset so I metered for the sky, found a decent spot about 100 yards away and fired away. The clouds did their job perfectly by displaying the last remnants of the evening in an amazing display of red, oranges, and warm greys. I composed the frame so that the vastness of the sky would contrast the small little figures below it.
Postprocessing was done in Photoshop: I adjusted contrast levels, curves, and clipped the black levels to emphasize the silhouettes. -Lynn Chyi
This weeks Shooting Challenge couldn't have come at a better time. I live in Norrköping, Sweden and just today there was an empty building that burned down. I was already planning on going on a walk with my neighbor to take photos of the fall leaves but we didn't get out until after the sun went down. So instead of taking photos of the leaves we walked over to the building that burned down and I got to take some photos of that instead. It's situated right on the river side so in the photo you can see the reflection of the fire as well as the strong light the firemen set up while spraying it down with water.
Some slight tone, contrast, and level changes. I then converted the whole photo to black and white and let the fire and 30% of the smoke's original color through. Taken on my Pentax K100D Super. -Mariathe Phan
This was taken at Fantasy of Flight in Lakeland, FL. It was me and my son out for the day, and being a good father and pilot I need to make sure he likes planes from an early age. As we were walking around waiting for this Travel Air biplane to fly, I noticed that the hangar made for a great silhouette shot. I underexposed in the camera by 1 full stop while shooting, which I brought right back up to 0 in Photoshop, and that was it in terms of editing. -Matt Genuardi
FujiFilm S9100 (ISO 100, f/8, 1/2000)
My fiancee and I were at the opening day of the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM taking tons of pictures. I was trying to find a way to incorporate the silhouette challenge, but wasn't having much luck. Then, I felt a shadow come over me and was able to turn around quick enough to take a picture just as a balloon was passing in front of the sun. -Matthew Recker
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XS Lens: Canon EFS 18-55 mm Kit Lens ISO: 100 F-Stop: 22 Shutter Speed: 1/400 Story behind photo: I just bought my camera two days ago, so my friend and I went to a State Park near where we live to play around. The sun was still pretty high, so I had to play with the angle to get the light to black her out. I boosted the color in iPhoto but didn't do anything else. I'm still learning how to really work the camera, but so far it's been a blast! -Megan Allen
I shot this from the window in my room here in in calgary a couple nights ago. I saw this challenge and figured I should be able to get a nice sunset and one or more of the 6 tower cranes working on the building next door. I shot this on my Canon SX 1 IS, ISO 80, f/5.0, 1/80sec, and 47.533mm(32mm equivalent is ~250mm). I took about 20 shots and while some captured the sunset with more clarity and vibrant colors, they had more foreground light than I liked to be in keeping with the spirit on the silhouette theme, I ended up selecting this one because it contained enough sunset, mountains and crane to satisfy my need for content diversity. -Mike Wing
I know this isn't a winner, but I had to send it in for the simple fact that it was totally unintentional. My four year old was standing in front of the window and wanted me to take a picture of him looking like a "scary monster" I still had the camera on spot metering and this came out. I was having some horrible results, all morning of trying to shoot a silhouette, and I couldn't get one that looked right. Either the subject was too well defined, or the entire photo was black. AND THEN I FINALLY GET IT, BY NO FAULT OF MY OWN! Whatever. -Nick Giardina
Was an interesting evening for Photography in Los Angeles— I looked out my window about 45 minutes before sunset, and saw that we were getting some really trippy axial lighting going on across the street, so I grabbed the camera and started shooting. Looked to the east, and there were massive thunderstorm clouds rolling in, which soon led to a double rainbow.
I tried getting some silhouette shots of that, but conditions were such that the pics only looked interested after I 'shopped the living bejezzus out of them. Which of course I did.
The sky continued to get interesting, so I continued to run in and out, shooting and editing. Finally, just as the sun was going down, I picked up this image— probably the first time that I've found something this good for the contest on the first day of the contest.
Not a lot of editing in this— cropped out the boring part of the picture, punched up the saturation, and threw in some sharpening. I will admit that if you put it side by side with the unedited shot out of the camera, you wouldn't realize they were the same picture if you weren't looking carefully, but I really like the final result. Probably my favorite image in a long time. -Jim (aka PaganGod)
I used my bike ramp to elevate my bike above any brush and rocks, as these would ruin my shape. after resting my camera on the ground angled slightly upward i set a ten second timer and hurriedly got in position on top of the ramp. The results are great! -Peter Glitsch
Canon 400D + Tamron 18-250mm F/3.5-6.3 Di-II Lens @ 0.6 sec, 100mm, f/36, ISO 100.
Was feeling a bit rough this weekend so decided to stay indoors and try out some miniature silhouettes. This is a tiny model castle with a model railway figure standing atop. I used a really bright Ikea desk lamp as the light source, softened with a sheet of A4 inkjet paper which gives the backdrop a sunset-like gradient and a great texture. Tweaked WB to keep the orangey warmth of the tungsten bulb and slightly adjusted brightness and contrast. -Peter Larkin
Shot with my Nikon D70, f/9 1/320 s, no flash. This shot was taken after the Spoon bread festival in Berea, Ky. I had just been talked into trying spoon bread and was enjoying it while walking with my girlfriend when I turned to see the shot framed perfectly with the sunset making the clouds appear to be glowing. I'll always associate this picture with Spoon bread. -Quenton Tazelaar
This photo was taken earlier this week in Egypt from a moving van going towards the pyramids. Just hangin out the window taking in the scenery. Taken on a Nikon F3-HP with 400 ASA Film 22 Aperture and 2000 Shutter Speed. Un-touched. -Rami Abousleiman
Story: Saw the gorgeous sunrise on my way to work near Boulder, CO this morning and pulled over to get a couple quick shots. Thankfully I was able to catch the shots before the sun got over the layer of mist in the valley. My camera was in auto mode, so I take no credit for the exposure settings. Lots of luck and being there at the right time I guess! -Reese Lloyd
The shots were taken on my dive trip to Maldives. The shot was taken at a depth of about 15mts. -Rithesh Nanda
I just started dating a girl and we were on a walk last Sunday night for a date. She mention on an earlier date she liked walking around taking pictures with her camera, so we brought our cameras. We were walking on a path by her place and we reached a small valley. On the west side there was a grassy hill and we saw a family crossing the crest on their bikes. She was the one who suggested I take a picture of them. -Robert Walker
Camera Model: Nikon D5000 Lens: Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G AF-S Focal Length: 35mm F-Number: F/14 Exposure Time: 1/800 ISO: 200 Date Taken: 01/10/2010
It was a boring day, weekend here in Saudi, so I was walking around looking for something to shoot and found the broken net combined with the clouds clocking the sun to be quite enticing. I set up low and fired away. The resulting silhouette reminded me that Gizmodo was doing a challenge this week. So here is my first ever submission. -Ruan Steyn
This was shot on campus at Texas State University-San Marcos. This shot was taken with a Nikon D40 with the 18-55mm kit lens. Shot at 18mm, F/11.0, and ISO at 200. It was right as the sun was setting. This is in my favorite building on campus Taylor Murphy Hall, it has an open courtyard in the middle, and i walked by on the second floor and saw the perfect lighting for this. -Ryan McKenery
Girl in motel. She's not naked. -Sam Marusich
Camera: Nikon D5000 Lens: AF-S Nikkor 18-55 1:3.5-5.6 G (kit lens) Exposure mode: P (Program) ISO: 200 Aperture: f/4 Shutter: 1/4000 EV: -3.3 White balance: Direct Sunlight (A1) Picture Control: VI (Vivid) Minimal Photoshop editing (contrast +40)
I took this shot from the 11th floor of a Shanghai skyscraper. The picture I took initially was to bright, you could still see some detail in the silhouettes but I think it was a better picture overall; it had more elements. -Slavescu Emanuel
I was sitting in my office, thinking about this challenge. hmm ... what would make an instantly recognizable and/or distinctive shape. looking on my shelf, i immediately saw my bender action figure (yes, it's an "action figure" ... not a doll) and thought bingo! i elevated him on a few books (ironically about photography), and placed him in front of my window, with the sunlight streaming in from a 3pm shadow. while i liked the silhouette action, i did not like seeing my shrubbery and neighbor's house in the background ... so i took a piece of cardboard construction paper and stood it behind the subject. much better! -Ted Lee
Walking back from class at the end of the day and saw these squirrels playing around. I wasn't trying to make this a silhouette shot but right as I walking past the tree lined up to block out the sun and one of them jumped up on the side to hide from the other. Photo taken using the Droid X stock camera app on sunset mode. Adjusted levels a tiny bit to increase the contrast between the silhouettes and the valley in the background. Favorite part of this pic is actually the not silhouetted squirrel sneaking up on the other. -Tom Hayford
I saw a picture of a pug wearing a red hoody on Flickr, so I thought I would send a photo reply. I managed to kill two birds with one stone, as I captured this silhouette photo as well. He looks like the Sith lord. -Trevor Oleniuk
While waiting for the N train on my way back from an art class in the east village, I spotted this chap on the other side of the tracks. The 23rd st & Broadway subway station has these tile mini-murals of hats on the walls. I am going to assume that because they are at typical head-height, they were intended for this purpose. This was shot with a Canon Rebel Xsi with a 50mm f/1.4. The settings for this shot were 1/20 sec. at f1.8 with ISO 800. -Charles Golonkiewicz
This was an opportunist photo. I was at school and another boy was on top of a hill reciting a Shakespearean poem for his next lesson, and I got my camera out and snapped the shot. -Will Reid
I work in Production, filming television shows mostly, but also do some Intelligent lighting for concerts. This was a local outdoor show at night and I was taking some pics for fun. I got this shot by laying, on the ground with Grass in front of the lens and rolling the stage out of focus. -Zach Cagle
In Texas, everything right now revolves around Friday Night Lights, aka high school football. I was bummed this week, because I had the perfect idea for a shot, but our schools Varsity football team had the week off. I then learned however our JV boys would be strapping up for a game on Thursday night. It would end right about the time the sunset. So my original idea was very similar to this, having a football player facing the field, with the stadium lights glaring black at him. I just couldn't get the silhouette to come out. I was noticing the sun had set behind me for several minutes now, so I figured the shot would come as I lost the light. But when I looked back, I saw a kid atop the stadium hill, and he was silhouetted perfectly. I quickly moved my subject to to crest of the hill, and got down at the bottom. The cloudless sky was making a beautiful tint and perfect lighting for my shot. I keep shooting, changing my settings until I got one. Shot on my Olympus E-Volt 300. I used Aperture 3 to adjust the levels, contrast, and give the sunset some pop. -Marcus McDonald
This photo was taken at home (exams coming up soon). It took me 20 minutes of staring right at the sun [intermittently] (retinal burns?!) before I finally got the shot I liked. I wanted to create a dreamy look with the out of focus effect. The model is a metal nut & bolt figurine of a violinist. (I'm one :D) I took it with a Nikon D90 (my first camera! :D) and 50mm F/1.8 at F/4.5, ISO 100, Shutterspeed 1/4000s. Thats all, back to studying! XP -Michael Leong