I'm a real sucker for silhouettes, imagine my delight when Henning sent me his ongoing project about silhouettes in Street Photography! I promptly sent him a few questions, here are his replies and images.
Henning, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure. I'm a 31 year old guy from Oslo, Norway. I've been into photography for some years now, I mostly do street and urban scenes as well as travel, but I also like to play around, and try new things as well.
Is this project complete or on-going?
This is a project that started subconsciously. I noticed that I had quite a lot of silhouettes lying around. So I collected them and started a more serious hunt for more silhouettes. I guess you can say that it's an on-going project, that needs some sort of closure, but I'm not yet sure what it will be.
Where was this series shot? What gear did you use?
All the images you see are from Oslo.
What gear I use? I don’t care too much about that, the gear is there just to enable me to make my photos.
I've actually shot quite a few of these images with a compact camera (Fuji x10). I always have this camera in my pocket, so I use it a lot when I'm not carrying my dslr.
“What gear you use” is a necessary question that satisfies the curious readers. We say it's what you DO with what you have that's important, and the many answers we get help solidify that fact 🙂 .What is it about silhouettes that attract you? What does it mean for you?
I think it is the strong graphical shapes that originally attracted me the most. Silhouettes simplify and visually it often makes good photos. And it is always interesting to compose images with simple shapes. But I'm also very fascinated with the anonymization and generalization the silhouettes ads, and the effect it has on the viewer.
Do you think that silhouettes have psychological implications? If so, what do you think they are?
Absolutely. As I mentioned above I think it effects the viewer in a special way. I think it is easier to see yourself in the place of silhouettes than if you see the persons in the photo. In that way your own experiences and feelings will affect the way you interpret the photo. For example, the image of the two people walking under the light post.
When I look at this image I personally think of me and my wife walking home after a night out, having good conversations. But this image might give others different associations.
This is a very nice insight. It's why we are attracted to comics too, even more the less defined ones, it's easier to put ourselves in their place. Any anecdotes you can share?
Well I'm not sure if the blurry image of the ice skaters are what others would call silhouettes, but I feel they belong in this project anyway. I took this image last winter. As always it was cold as hell in Oslo during winter, but I saw these ice skaters and had to get a shot. I stood there in the cold for a couple of hours.
The next day I woke up with a really heavy cold – couldn't go to work for over a week. So this image cost my quite a lot actually.
Any closing comments?
Well. Thank you Olivier and Don for a wonderful magazine and blog, it is really inspiring, keep up the good work!
Thanks to you, Henning for sharing the work! You will find more of Henning's work in an upcoming issue of Inspired Eye.
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