Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Silhouettes - Part I

Once upon a time, there was life without cameras - digital or film. My kids can't even fathom this concept. They've never even seen a cell phone without a camera. Their generation has the luxury of taking pictures pretty much whenever they want. I know this because I find all sorts of crazy pictures on my phone when I forget to lock it. When I was a kid it was a big deal to use a camera. Remember getting 3 rolls of double prints developed only to get two good shots? 
Before cameras were invented, people had little recourse to capture the images of friends or family. If you were wealthy aristocracy, you could commission a painted portrait. This was impossible for most commoners.
In the late 18th century shade portraits evolved because they were a less expensive option to a painted portrait. The name silhouette comes from the French Minister of Finance, Etienne de Silhouette, who was very unpopular with the French people in the late 1750's for his unfair taxation. While the French people were suffering, Silhouette was more interested in cutting his shade portraits, and his name became synonymous with them.

With the advent of the computer there are fewer traditional silhouette artists (but apparently there is still one at Disneyland!). I am totally drawn to this art form. I was inspired by the fun artwork on the website Simply Silhouettes. In total DIY fashion am trying to replicate idea below:

  Isn't the scalloped detail pretty?

Through some tinkering in Photo Impact,
I edited a photo of my son Dylan

Stay tuned for next week's update for the competed pieces!

Have a great week!

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