Colorful Silhouettes

Colorful Silhouettes


Summer is coming to an end, days are getting shorter, and I have still only gotten out to ride my motorcycle a handful of times during our 4 good months of riding weather here in Washington. While looking at this set of photos it occurred to me, I think I’ve photographed my bike more times this year than I have ridden it. But at the same time, I like looking at the machine almost as much as I like riding it, it’s a piece of art all by itself.

I wanted to shoot something extremely simple yet visually engaging, and this shoot provided just that. I’ve recently been playing with a lot of color gels, creating vivid backgrounds on the seamless. I posed the bike in front of the seamless, threw a single strobe behind the bike with a color gel, and popped the picture. I wanted a nice gradient light falloff, which the single light did perfectly, while also keeping to our “simple” theme for the shoot. Lisa stood in as my shadow rider (I wouldn’t recommend following her riding technique out on the streets 😉 ).

More on silhouettes and photos after the jump! –>

Silhouette photography pretty much goes against all of the standard practices when it comes to portraiture. Instead of having your subject angle their body at least a little bit to prevent looking “flat” in a normal photo, that’s exactly what you want for a silhouette. Flat, spread out, and exaggerated will allow light to breakup a shadowy blob that we’d typically find appealing in form with a normal picture. Poses that look great for silhouettes would look plain ridiculous under normal lighting conditions.

The bike itself has a beautiful profile for these types of shots. The aerodynamic body work and aggressive form makes it look like it’s going a 100 mph just sitting there. From certain angles the colored light splashing onto the bike hug the curves and cuts, revealing the lines of the body work. I shot the bike with a few different colors, all can be seen below.