One Light Silhouette: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey: AdoramaTV

In this video, I show you how to shoot a silhouette
photo, with a simple one light setup. AdoramaTV presents, Take and Make Great Photography with
Gavin Hoey. Hello, I’m Gavin Hoey and you’re watching AdoramaTV. Brought to you by Adorama, the
camera store that has everything for us photographer’s. In his video, I’m going to
show you how you can create a silhouette, using just one single light. Now, lights come with a whole bunch of
different light modifiers, and we’re going to try four different types of
modifier to see what works best with a silhouette. We’re
going to try bare bulb, so no modifier at all, we’re going to use a reflector, a grid, and the conical snoot. Now, I can’t do this on my own of course,
and today I’m be working with Gemma, do you want to say hello Gemma? All we need to do, is set the light up, get some balloons, and we’ll take some
shots. So to begin with, I’m going to start with no modifier on the
flash whatsoever. I’m using the StreskLight 360 for this shoot, and it has a feature called bear bulb,
where the hole of the light is exposed and light goes pretty much
everywhere. Now this is going to give a silhouette because it’s behind our
subject. Light is going on to the background, the background is going to be lit, but not so
much light is falling onto Gemma, so Gemma is going to be darker and
silhouette. That’s the idea, lets take a shot and see how it looks. So with that shot, it’s okay definitely a silhouette, the balloons are
back illuminated that’s why they’re there. They’re semi-translucent, but the shadow in the foreground is not
what I’m after at all. The light is coming forwards, and up onto
the sides. So to get some control to this shot,
I’m going to add in a reflector, and it would be a little bit like using
the wide angle end of your zoom if you are using a speed light flash. Now I’m just going to pop this on the front of the StreakLight, and straight away
you can imagine how this is going to work, the light is going to come forwards, but because this is solid, none of the light is going to go up or to the sides, and we’re not going to get the
spill back on Gemma that we had before. Lets take a picture and see how it looks. Yeah, and that’s done exactly what I predicted, we got a nice drop off at the
edges, that shadow at the front has been eliminated and yet the balloons are still
rear eliminated. That looks pretty good, but would it be
better with one of these? This is a Honeycomb grid, its a small series of honeycomb shaped
holes, that push light in one direction. In theory this should give us a much
tighter circle light, and a very different look to the
background on our silhouette. It slots into the reflector, really simply. There we go, just take the
picture. So as you can see, that is a much
tighter circle of light. I’m not sure it’s quite what I’m after. So this time I’m going to add in the conical snoot. Now in theory
this should be a very small circle of light, I think it’ll be way too small, but you’ve
got nothing to lose by trying, so lets just pop that inm and take the shot. There we go, we get a very small
circle of light, and it’s not really not that good for this
particular type of silhouette. Remember the flash distance, the
background distance, is remaining the same in every single shot, so its simply the modifies
that are changing the look of the picture, and you might think that the conical snoot
would be useless, don’t use it, but there’s one way we can use it where we can still get a good shot. So what I’m going to do is, rather than having the light behind Gemma, and thats the perfect place for it in this shot although we will need to do some cloning to remove some of the legs in Photoshop. I’m going to
take the light and put it over to the side. Not only that, but I’m going to raise it up a bit higher as well, so lets put the light up really high like that, we’ll angle it down a little bit. We’re just going to skim the light down the
side of the background, so rather than being
a circle of light we should get a shaft of light. That’s the idea, lets try it out here we go. So it can be used to get a silhouette,
but it’s not quite the shot I’m after in this case. I think of the four that
we tried. I like the second one with the standard reflector. So I’m going to put that back onto the light,
put the light back behind Gemma, and then we’re going to do a shoot. Okay
Gemma, are you ready? Lets do it Okay that’s terrific. Well there we go,
we got a load of silhouette shots there, plenty to choose from. So what I’m going to do now is to get my favorite
picture into Photoshop and we’ll do a little bit a post-processing there as well. We’re going to do that right now. Don’t forget to check out Adorama’s latest contest and your chance to win amazing prizes! As always, I took all of my pictures in
camera raw format and as always that means I need
to do a little bit of work in Photoshop just to get the best out of the file, let’s have a look. Now this is the picture as it came off of the camera, with a little bit a cropping done, and
although it looks okay its not quite how I remember the picture
on the LCD, on the camera. On the LCD it was a lovely deep black silhouettes but here I can actually see detail in Gemma’s arm, and in Gemma’s face, and in this case I want them to be nice and solid and black. To do that I’m just going to go
to the blacks slider and take the slider down into the minus area, and we’ll keep going down, I reckon about there at -70 should be pretty much perfect for this shot. So that’s given a nice deep solid silhouette, but its affected the whole picture. Wen now have much darker edges around here, and the balloons, well they’re not as bright as they were a minute ago, so we need to bring that back. I don’t mind the
dark ages, but those balloons, well I can fix them fairly simply by changing tools, I’m going to change this one here the
adjustment brush. Now the adjustment brush allows me to make small changes to small parts of the picture. So let’s click it, I get a brand new panel with the adjustment brush panel, and I can choose to increase the
exposure for example, by dragging the exposure slider about a stop and a half, that should be fine. Then I just click on the balloons, it’s like
putting extra light into the balloons because that’s literally what we doing. I can
change it even after I painted, I can move the slider around to get it exactly how I want it. Maybe you
know, a little brighter, and a little bit more saturation in there to really make those reds come out, and maybe a little bit of clarity in there too, just to give it an edge. Okay I’m happy with that, so I’ll click the OK button, will leave raw behind, and I’ll go into Photoshop. Now the reason I need to come back into
Photoshop is there is one more thing I need to do and Photoshop is the best place to do it. It was a problem that I knew I was going to have even whilst I was taking the pictures. Its
the legs of the light stand. I needed the light
behind Gemma, I wanted nice even illumination behind her, and that meant having some form of lighting stand in the shot. Removing it fortunately isn’t too tricky. So having a look down
here, we can see there the light stand quite clearly, and my tool of choice for this kind of
work, is this guy here, the spot Healing Brush. So I love this about a Healing Brush because all you need to do is just paint over
the thing you want to remove, like that, and when you let go and cross your fingers, it disappears. It might need a couple clicks just to get it absolutely right so don’t be surprised
if you need to click in a few times. But you can use it to remove any little
minor blemishes as well. But big things like this, paint over
them and the go. Larger parts like this, now this is a bit
more tricky because there’s a little bit less for this tool to work with, and you have to
kind of hope a little bit that it will work, and don’t be surprised if
you need to go over this two or three times. Look at that, there we go, and eventually it’ll fix it for you and there you go, there is my final picture completed. Well there you go, shooting with balloons is great fun, the translucent nature of these work so well with the silhouette of the
final picture. Now if you want to see what we can do with more than one light, and a set of balloons, then you need to
watch my next video, and of course the easiest way to do that is
just a click on the subscribe button. I’m Gavin Hoey, thanks for watching! Do you want great-looking prints at low-cost? Be sure to visit our easy to use, online printing service. Adoramapix has professionals who treat your images with the utmost care that you can count
on. For a quick turnaround on photos, cards or albums, use

46 thoughts on “One Light Silhouette: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey: AdoramaTV

  1. In my opinion, Gavin is the best photography teacher on Youtube.  His explanations are clear and well presented, and his retouching in Photoshop is masterful and well demonstrated.  I've learned a lot from him.

  2. I have all your videos in my special playlist in you tube , just for your excellent videos. Thanks once again for another spectacular video.

  3. Great video Gavin… sorry but could you tell me who is in the soundtrack please???

  4. when i hear gavins voice i know there will be an informative fun video to watch

  5. Hi Gavin, I am doing Real Estate Photography. And I have a question. Do you know how to light up the windows of a house at night; using a flash for each window. Then
    removing the flash stand from each window picture using photoshop?  If you have any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. my email addy is [email protected]

  6. you are the best.. watching your videos make me feel like a pro.. but then i remmber i dnt have the type of gears u have..

  7. I don't understand, that ceiling light to your top right is lighting her from head on. how is she completely silhouetted and not lit from the front in the photos?

  8. May I ask why you didn't use the adjustment brush to take away the detail in Gemma at the beginning of the edit rather than darken the entire photo?

  9. Hi Gavin, great tutorial but what did you expose for and how? Thanks

  10. Your subscribe outro videos are like the Simpsons intros, I'm always waiting to see what you're gonna do 🙂

  11. I really enjoy how you show various options with modifiers. A real life situation where us photographers in real life would experiment. It really helps to see what different gear gives in terms of results to help us decide what gear we need to execute our visions. Thanks for another great video!

  12. WOW, nice studio for photography.

  13. Best series (Shooting + Post Processing + Nice Guy) = Great Picture, Thanks Adorama for bringing such practical Tutorials.

  14. YOu don't need all the flashing screens and visual irritation.

    Stopped at 14 seconds and VERY happy to neg this.

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