How to Create a Silhouette in Photoshop

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Before Changes

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After Changes

This tutorial is to help you learn how to create a silhouette from a photo that didn’t quite have the right exposure for it.  For this photo, it was supposed to come out as a silhouette but it was a little too overexposed.  But this technique will work well for any photo that has a bright light source in the background.  Ok, once you have your picture open in photoshop:

1. Create a New Layers Adjustment Layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels).

2. Adjust the outside sliders so they fit the whole color range.  For this photo I had to slide the left one in.

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3. Adjust the exposure so it is more balanced and on the verge of being a silhouette.  For this photo I had to slide the middle slider slightly to the left.

4. Create a New Brightness/Contrast Ajustment Layer (Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast).

5. Decrease the Brightness, for this photo I decreased it by 41.

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6. Increase the Contrast, for this photo I increased it by 40.

For different photos, the process and amount of adjustment won’t be exactly the same.  But with this technique you can probably make the most realistic silhouettes.

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