Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette


This Week’s Photo Challege: SILHOUETTE. The proper definition of a silhouette is “the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass.” In photography, often we achieve that effect by putting light behind the object whose silhouette we want to capture, effectively darkening out the features of the subject instead of highlighting them.

Sara, of WordPress, challenges us to share a picture of a Silhouette with everyone!

Silhouette
©2012 Tracy L. Constantine

I remember the day this photo was taken. A small group of us were traveling along the Oregon Coast when we decided to stop for the night. We soon discovered this perfect spot right on the Pacific Ocean. It was one of the most fantastic nights I have ever spent in my life. We lit a fire, prepared a meal and sat back to relax. A friend pulled out his acoustic guitar and began strumming while the rest of us sang or hummed to the familiar tunes. As the sun began to set, each of us took a solo walk along the beach to return relaxed and ready for bed. I took this photo of my friend as the sun descended, creating this wonderful silhouette. As the night sky darkened, we fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves as they gently caressed the shoreline. If you’ve never slept in the sand, I recommend it. Just grab your sleeping bag, burrow in to create the perfect pillow and allow each grain of sand to hug you as you drift peacefully to sleep.

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Silhouette (ˌsɪluːˈɛt)

— n
1. the outline of a solid figure as cast by its shadow
2. an outline drawing filled in with black, often a profile portrait cut out of black paper and mounted on a light ground

— vb
3. ( tr ) to cause to appear in silhouette

source:Modern Language Association (MLA): “silhouette.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 25 Oct. 2012.

Word Origin & History

1798, from Fr. silhouette, in allusion to Étienne de Silhouette (1709-67), Fr. minister of finance in 1759. Usually said to be so called because it was an inexpensive way of making a likeness of someone, a derisive reference to Silhouette’s petty economies to finance the Seven Years’ War, which were unpopular among the nobility. But other theories are that it refers to his brief tenure in office, or the story that he decorated his chateau with such portraits. The verb is recorded from 1876. The family name is a Frenchified form of a Basque surname; Arnaud de Silhouette, the finance minister’s father, was from Biarritz in the French Basque country; the southern Basque form of the name would be Zuloeta or Zulueta, which contains the suffix -eta “abundance of” and zulo “hole” (possibly here meaning “cave”).

source: Modern Language Association (MLA): “silhouette.” Online Etymology

 Quote

“It is the Late city that first defies the land, contradicts Nature in the lines of its silhouette, denies all Nature. It wants to be something different from and higher than Nature. These high-pitched gables, these Baroque cupolas, spires, and pinnacles, neither are, nor desire to be, related with anything in Nature. And then begins the gigantic megalopolis, the city-as-world, which suffers nothing beside itself and sets about annihilating the country picture.” – Oswald Spengler (1880–1936), German historian. The Decline of the West, vol. 2, ch. 4, sect. 3 (1926).

 

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