How to Create Silhouette Portraits


Making a silhouette portrait is a classy, creative, but surprisingly easy means to decorate your home: They allow you to create pictures of your friends and loved ones, but without getting tripped up by more technical photographic hurdles like lighting, color, and composition. In fact, all it takes is a digital camera, and a few minutes in Photoshop.

  • Photograph your subject, in profile, with a digital camera. Your camera should be on the same level as your subject. Try to shoot against a pure white background: This makes it easier to digitally remove the background later on.

  • Open your photo in Photoshop. With the Magic Wand tool, select the (preferably white) background for removal. Once clicked, the background will be outlined and highlighted. Go to 'edit,' and select 'cut.' The background will disappear.

  • Go to 'image,' and select 'adjustments.' Select 'desaturate:' this removes all color.

    Also in 'adjustments,' select 'brightness/contrast.' Both lower the brightness, and increase the contrast: your image will take on the form of a silhouette. If your picture hasn't fully silhouetted, fill in the rest of the figure with black, or another color, using the Paintbucket tool.

  • Adjust the photo to your desired dimensions. When satisfied, save the file as a JPEG.

  • Print your photo. Trim the edges, and place it in the frame.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have a high-quality printer, burn your photo to a CD and bring it to a local copy shop. You may also use online printing services, like Kodak Gallery.

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