Silhouettes and Shadows

Skill Focus: Light and Shadow
Seasonal Theme: Autumn
Tip of the Week: Use the low-angle autumn sun to create dramatic silhouettes or long shadows. This can add a mysterious or whimsical touch to your photos.


Introduction to Light and Shadow

  • Objective: Understand the basics of how light and shadow work in photography.
  • Activity: Classroom discussion or virtual meeting to introduce the concept.
  • Homework: Research and share one photo that effectively uses light and shadow.

The Golden Hour

  • Objective: Learn why the golden hour is the best time for capturing silhouettes and shadows.
  • Activity: Outdoor practice during the golden hour.
  • Homework: Capture a silhouette or shadow photo during the golden hour.

Camera Settings

  • Objective: Learn which camera settings are best for capturing silhouettes and shadows.
  • Activity: Hands-on camera setting adjustments.
  • Homework: Experiment with different settings to capture a silhouette or shadow.

Composition Techniques

  • Objective: Understand how to compose a photo to make the most of silhouettes and shadows.
  • Activity: Discuss the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing.
  • Homework: Take a photo implementing one of the composition techniques discussed.

Review and Critique

  • Objective: Review the week’s work and provide constructive feedback.
  • Activity: Photo sharing and critique session.
  • Homework: Revise one photo based on the feedback received.

Weekend Challenge: The Autumn Story

  • Objective: Create a mini-portfolio of 3-5 photos that tell an “Autumn Story” using silhouettes and shadows.
  • Activity: Spend the weekend capturing photos for your mini-portfolio.
  • Homework: Prepare to present your mini-portfolio in the next week’s class.

Materials Needed

  • Camera (DSLR, mirrorless, or smartphone)
  • Tripod (optional but recommended)
  • Notebook and pen for taking notes
  • Field Notes Job Aid

Additional Resources

Articles or video tutorials on light and shadow in photography


  • Examples of iconic silhouette and shadow photography