Second attempt of a silhouette


Taken by Bren Ryan

Well the above is my second attempt at a silhouette photo.  You see I have a Photoshop book that gives you projects to do.. and one of those projects was silhouettes..

I followed the books instructions of finding two photographs to use for the silhouette. My first photograph was on Canary Wharf in London.  I was looking for a photograph where the buildings would stand out on bright sunset.

New ForestThe image that I used for the sky came from a sunset taken at the New Forest in Hampshire.

Once I had found my two images I loaded them as layers in Photoshop… next to follow the instructions of selecting all the sky … my book said use the magic wand but I just selected all the sky with the quick selection tool.  Then I went to the Select Menu in Photoshop and clicked modify and selected expand. I change the figure to 1 px.  Then I went back to the select menu and clicked modify and selected feather and used a setting of 0.5 px.


My instruction book told me to then use Control + Shift + I to inverse the selection and then create a new layer and select Edit and Fill it with black (Layer 1).. as you can see by the picture on the right it made the river black and as well as the buildings so instead of using that method I just used Control + C and then pasted my selection into my new layer mask (which is called Layer 3).

Silhouette LayersI then added a vibrance adjustment layer to the sky image, clipping it the sky layer and I did the same again for the exposure and hut/saturation layers.  On the exposure layer I then masked out some of the exposure.

As I was only using the Layer three which was a copy and pasted selection of the buildings, I had to make the buildings go dark.. I used an exposure adjustment layer and then removed some of the darkness from water by using a layer mask.

I tried to darken the buildings by using a curves adjustment layer but again I didn’t like the effect it gave me.. so I opted to use a levels adjustment layer.

I then added a new layer and filled it with 50% grey and I set the layer blending style to Overlay.  I then did  some minor dodging and burning.

I then added a gradient filter using a deep blue and gold tone and applied it to the river area.  I set the blending layer for this to soft light.

Once I was happy I imported my photo back into Lightroom, added a vignette and then added more yellow (using the temperature slider) to the whole image, the setting being +14

This is the first silhouette I have done… and it may not be perfect.. but it gave me an opportunity to really try something new in Photoshop.

Your comments are greatly appreciated

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