Photo by @daisygilardini
| During an evening cruise along the Chobe River in Botswana's Chobe National Park, we encountered this beautiful elephant. When it comes to silhouettes, less is more! The key to success is to look for a clearly outlined subject and avoid overlapping multiple subjects. Keep in mind that the goal of a silhouette is to render your subject as a shape with a clearly defined outline, with no color or texture. The shape needs to be absolutely perfect to work. In contrast to normal portraits, when I like the subject to look at me—possibly with the head tilted a bit in order to see both eyes, creating a 3D effect—I find that profiles work best when shooting silhouettes.
When photographing elephants along the Chobe River, it’s always a challenge to get a clear view of an elephant’s entire body in silhouette. As one is often shooting from a boat, the horizon line tends to cut the subject in half, something I really don’t like. In this instance the elephant was on a high riverbank. By lying in the boat as flat as possible, I was able to get the horizon line right where I wanted it to be. I waited for the elephant to lift its trunk to give my image more depth. Coincidentally, the elephant flicked its tail—an extra detail that made all the difference.
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