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Composing a Silhouette

I rarely shoot sunsets and even more rarely, silhouettes. While covering the California coastal town of Carpinteria for a local magazine, however, I found myself on the beach at sunset. Normally, I like to shoot subjects lit with sunset light, not the actual sunset, but the lifeguard tower had caught my attention. A young woman was sitting on the edge of the tower reading a book.  When she stood up to watch the sun setting, I knew I had a good image. Moving a few feet to the side to place the sun partially behind the tower created a starburst.  Composing the view down the beach while placing the silhouette of the lifeguard tower in the right third of the image gave me a greater feeling of depth. My model only stayed in that position for a couple frames, but it was long enough to give me one of the stronger images of the entire assignment.


© 2007 Chuck Place, Los Angeles DPA Instructor


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