Silhouettes: 5 accidental gems
I always forget how much I love silhouettes. The simplicity. The contrast. The attention it draws to form. The graphic-poster feel. I'm usually not trying for them, at least initially. Here are five shots I really liked, and what I was really shooting for. (Hint: It was usually less exciting.)
What I was really after: Boring, poorly lit macros.
We found these awesome, huge ants in the desert. I tried a few different ways to get a good macro, but the light (not to mention the ants) refused to cooperate. A storm rolled in, and we walked around for a while, grabbing a few cloud and saguaro shots. Then, on our way back, the sky took on that cool post-storm lighting, and I picked up an ant on a stick, just for the heck of it.
What I was really after: Nothing.
This is a really old one. I wasn't even planning to use my camera. I was driving and saw the sunset right behind a stand of saguaro. My son said "Hey, why don't you take a picture?" I figured, hey, why don't I?
Fossil Springs tree
What I was really after: Darkening canyon walls.
We had spent the day hiking the Fossil Springs Wilderness, a gorgeous spring and riparian area in a canyon tucked away just south of the Mogollon Rim. Photo ops aplenty. The light had faded, I was putting my camera away for the day, and then this tree came into view.
What I was really after: Normal bubble pictures.
Bubbles are best with the light shining on them to bring out the color, right? Well, not always. Luck + sunset lighting = awesome silhouette.
Kelp tank + son
What I was really after: Kelp tank + son. (!!)
OK, this one was intentional, at least, it was once I saw the amazing tank. I'd gone to the Birch Aquarium with thoughts of getting closeups of sea animals, and maybe some shots like this, showing off the wonder in David's face. Sometimes, a kid (even mine) isn't the focus of the story or photo. Sometimes, the wonder comes from being just a shape on the periphery, just a small outline, peering into a world that doesn't center on you at all. It's jarring, but in a beautiful way.
Or something like that. He stood there for half an hour, so there must have been something to it.
Silhouettes are quickly becoming my favorite shot, leading to images like this, this, and this; all of which I actually intended!