dark silhouette of a person against out of focus lights of a city in the background


Posted on | Shot on at 18:00:00

Silhouette shot on Peet’s Hill above Bozeman on an overcast evening.

We were hanging out waiting to see if the Northern Lights would show or not and to keep myself occupied I started taking shots of Bozeman with my friends silhouetted against the city light.

Because it was so dark the autofocus had a hard time deciding on where it should be set and so I flipped it over to manual. I started playing around with the focus ring as I was shooting and experimented with adjusting the focus throughout the long exposure necessary to pull out the silhouette. Continuous adjustment throughout the exposure left the image kind of blurry but by pausing at various points I was able to get the effect seen here with the city lights in the background in a range of sizes.

A larger version of this image along with additional photos from the evening can be found on my flickr page.

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  • has a party feeling about it. the lights feel like balloons. i really like the range of lights and darks you got – it all looks very convincing. wonder if those northern lights showed up for you – they’re amazing when they show.

  • @michele Nope. No Northern Lights that night. I think there was a combo of smoke and rain cloud going on. You couldn’t even see the edge of the mountains against the sky north of town that night.

  • too bad about seeing those northern lights, but at least you got around to playing around with this scene.. :) nice work.. :D

  • Love the blur here which give a particular atmospher to this photo.

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  • Shutter speed: 13 sec
  • Focal length: 50 mm
  • Aperture: f/1.8


The photo Silhouette by Joseph Bergantine is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA License. Licensing Terms and Conditions.

Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License to Joseph Bergantine.