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Silhouettes in Kerala, India (Photo Essay for Dezine Magazine)

I have recently finished a six month voyage through India. It is a great country for photography offering a variety of landscapes, amazing architecture and a variety of interesting cultures to capture. Wherever you go in India there is always something to document photographically. Whilst I was in the South of India in the state of Kerala I spent a few days in Fort Kochi. This small coastal city is a great place for both street and architectural photography with a huge mix of different influences from throughout the ages. The area is famous for it's Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture, as well as the elaborate Chinese fishing nets which were introduced by Chinese explorers in the 14th century.

I'm sure that in the right conditions the Chinese fishing nets can be photographed beautifully, but during my time there the sky was dull and the vibrant sunsets lacking! Instead I decided to experiment with some silhouette style images along the coastline. I enjoy taking silhouette photographs, I feel that their simplicity adds to their overall beauty and the addition of people can add a lot of emotion.

When taking silhouetted images, as with much of photography, the most important element is light. The subject that you want to be silhouetted should be directly in front of the light source. In addition, the background needs to be lighter than the foreground to create the silhouette. In these images the late afternoon sun was directly behind the people making it perfect for the high contrast silhouetted results. Choose subjects that are easily recognisable as your silhouettes and keep it simple. Try to avoid distracting elements within the frame and make use of the surrounding negative space. The subjects I took here were on a coastal walkway and I was slightly lower down on the beach shooting up. This angled technique ensured I had no distracting noise in the background of the frame. These images were taken using a Canon 5D4 and a Sigma 135mm 1.8 art lens. The extra range on the lens allowed me to stand a little further back and photograph away comfortably. However, any type of lens can be used successfully for silhouettes, practice until you create the perfect shot and have fun doing so.

I have written several previous travel photo essays for Dezine which can be found on their website. More of my travel photography can be found on my website, my Instagram, my Facebook and my Flickr account. If you are interested in purchasing any prints, using an image online or collaborating in any way please email: geraintrowlandphotography@gmail.com.