In previous posts I've talked about creating silhouettes from isolated subjects, but there's no reason that you can't take that idea to a larger scene--namely the landscape. Essentially the process is exactly the same, you find a dark subject against a light background and expose for the lighter area. Finding landscape subjects for this kind of treatment is a bit tricky and the best place to look (did you guess already?) is along the edges of hilltops.
Because hilltop landscapes (a row of barren trees, windmills, a lighthouse) are situated against the open sky, they're easy to silhouette. I found this farm scene in a rural corner of Iowa and I envisioned it as a silhouette from the moment I spotted it. I worked the scene from a lot of different angles and with several focal length lenses, but I knew that I wanted three main elements in the scene: the tree, the edge of the barn and a cow. The cow was the tricky bit because every time I fine-tuned the composition, she went for a walk. I had to wait almost a half an hour for her to walk into the frame where I wanted her (I was starting to wish I had a cardboard cow to substitute for her). The line of the fence tied the whole scene together.
The only editing that I did to this image (all in Photoshop CS3) was to enhance the contrast a bit (using the curves too, but the brightness/contrast adjustment would have worked) and I also used the selective color tool to clean up the white sky a bit. One last tweak that I made was to use the midtone slider in the levels control to bring up just a hint of green in the foreground grass. But to be honest, the silhouette straight out of the camera would have been very close to what I wanted.
Don't be afraid to tackle more complex scenes as silhouettes because the results are usually very interesting and it's easy to tweak scenes like this in editing.
The Treetop Temple in Kyoto of Kiyomizu-dera
13 hours ago