Lightroom Tutorial: Turn a Photo into a Silhouette

A silhouette is a type of image where the subject is distinguished from the background by its shape. Silhouettes are often used to create a dramatic or mysterious effect.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to turn a photo into a silhouette using Lightroom.

Step 1: Import your photo into Lightroom

The first step is to import your photo into Lightroom. You can do this by clicking on the File menu and selecting Import. Then, navigate to the location of your photo file and select it.

Step 2: Convert the photo to grayscale

To create a silhouette, you will need to convert the photo to grayscale. To do this, go to the Develop module and click on the Basic panel. Then, click on the Black & White icon. This will convert the photo to grayscale.

Step 3: Darken the subject

To create the silhouette effect, you will need to darken the subject. To do this, go to the Basic panel and lower the Exposure slider. You may also need to lower the Highlights and Shadows sliders.

Step 4: Sharpen the edges of the subject

To make the silhouette look more defined, you can sharpen the edges of the subject. To do this, go to the Detail panel and increase the Sharpening slider.

Step 5: Adjust the contrast

You may also need to adjust the contrast of the photo to make the silhouette look more dramatic. To do this, go to the Basic panel and increase the Contrast slider.

Step 6: Save your silhouette

Once you are happy with the results, you can save your silhouette. To do this, go to the File menu and select Export. Then, choose the desired export settings and click the Export button.

Additional tips

  • You can use the Brush tool to paint over areas of the photo that you want to keep light.
  • You can use the Adjustment Brush to create a more gradual transition between the light and dark areas of the photo.
  • You can use the Radial Filter to create a circular silhouette effect.
  • You can experiment with different settings to find the best results for your photo.


Creating a silhouette is a simple but effective way to add drama and interest to your photos. By following the steps in this tutorial, you can easily create stunning silhouettes using Lightroom.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.

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