Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouettes (from the USA and Abroad)

For this week’s photo theme, I have assembled a collection of silhouettes, taken at a variety of locations in the United States and abroad.

The simplest definition of a silhouette is a darker image set against a lighter background.  Now a popular art form, silhouettes once had a poor reputation.  Before photography, they were the “cheap” way of creating a portrait, because they only required scissors, paper, some skill, and lots of patience.  In fact, they are named after a unpopular French finance minister, Etienne de Silhouette, who enforced draconian fiscal restrictions on French citizens, including the wealthy, to help the country get out of debt from the Seven Years War.  (You can imagine how popular he was!)   Fortunately, silhouettes have shed their “cheap” reputation and history.    Now, they are a stylistic choice used by artists, filmmakers, photographers, and illustrators.

As you can see, the subjects of my silhouettes are people, buildings, works of art, and nature.  This first shot was taken in Sedona, Arizona at sunset.

Sunset Silhouette, Sedona, AZ

Sunset Silhouette, Sedona, AZ

The next silhouette frames the massive 24-foot bronze sculpture,The American Horse, against a summer sky.   The sculpture, created by Nina Akamu, was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s creation for the Duke of Milan.

Leonardo's Horse, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI

Leonardo’s Horse, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, MI

This next shot, taken in Grand Central Station in New York, was a happy coincidence.  A hostess was checking her reservation list when I spotted her.

Silhouette, Grand Central Station, New York

Silhouette, Grand Central Station, New York

On vacation in London, we captured Big Ben, highlighted against  a moody sky.

Westminister copy

Big Ben Silhouette, London, UK

Clouds appear twice in this shot, taken in Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids.

Rosa Parks Reflection, Grand Rapids, MI

Rosa Parks Reflection, Grand Rapids, MI

And finally, this panorama was taken from the restaurant in the Trump Hotel in Chicago.  The image was captured on my Samsung Galaxy S-5 cellphone by my very talented son. (A mother can brag, can’t she?)

Silhouette of Chicago, Trump Tower

Silhouette of Chicago, Trump Tower by Alex Moed

I hope you enjoy my collection!  What are your favorite subjects for your silhouettes?   People, buildings, works of art, or nature?

For those of you who want to see more “traditional” portrait silhouettes, here are some on Pinterest.

And here are some more by some very talented Word Press bloggers:

19 replies »

  1. Howdy! This is jak from jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar. This is incredible! Great photos, great history.

    And yes, a mother can brag– my 12 year old daughter is showing INCREDIBLE talent in photography and it’s 100% grade-A in my book for a parent to be excited!


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