Ah the silhouette… the antithesis of HDR photography. It may be considered a cop out or an “easy” trick, but there’s something great about a photographer surrendering to the limitations of an extreme lighting situation or, better yet, creating one themselves.

A great silhouette shouldn’t make you want to see more details. It has captured exactly what it should have, and more shadow details would only take away from this real-world scene that resides far beyond the extremes of what a camera can capture.

The 30 photos below are all great examples of silhouettes at their best. Not all are 100% contrasty, perfect silhouettes; but each raises the bar on this type of photograph in one way or another:

Nothing Left to Lose by Pedro Quintela on 500px.com

Exposure by Simon Roy on 500px.com

Shadow of the Ibex by Gilles Baechler on 500px.com

Kite Hill by John Cramer on 500px.com

Sunset Ride in WA by PaulEmmingsPhotography  on 500px.com

Kgalagadi Silhouette by Lee Bothma on 500px.com

Life Of Giraffes by Asaad AL-shammeri on 500px.com

Beauty of The Nature by Muhammad Asif Sherazi on 500px.com

First Sight by Wilfredo Lumagbas Jr. on 500px.com

Silhouette by Niyazi U?ur Genca on 500px.com

Nets in sunset by Saravut Whanset on 500px.com

Polar Bear silhouette by Marco Gaiotti on 500px.com

mantis waiting sunset by djeff act on 500px.com

Right by Guy Cohen on 500px.com

Holding The Sun by M AlHarby on 500px.com

Father and son by Marsel van Oosten on 500px.com

The Art of Yoga by Wilfredo Lumagbas Jr. on 500px.com

Leopard Silhouette by Andrew Schoeman on 500px.com

Dream Big by Michael Shainblum on 500px.com

Inspection by Kiran Sham on 500px.com

Waiting for a good time! by Mardy Suong Photography on 500px.com

worlds appart by Carlos Canales on 500px.com

silhouettes by LBH photography on 500px.com

Bye bye 2014 by Flávio Parreiras on 500px.com

Lion of Busanga by Will Burrard-Lucas on 500px.com

Training Day by Antonio Solano on 500px.com

Paris at sunset by Jacky CW on 500px.com

Strahlendes Paar by Leo Pöcksteiner on 500px.com

Largo Cantabile by Dragan Todorovi? on 500px.com

Three Kings by Vince Burton on 500px.com

Share a link to your best silhouette photo on 500x in the comments down below. And if you want more inspiration of the contrast-y variety, check out the high-contrast black-and-white street photography of Junichi Hakoyama… really incredible stuff.