Landscape photographers work hard to avoid shooting into the sun on a regular basis as it can, without filters and careful consideration, wash out colors and make the correct capture of highlights and shadows almost impossible. If you are willing to shoot at dawn or dusk when the sky is often saturated with color, shooting into the sun can create dramatic images.
The silhouetted industrial cranes to the left were shot about 5:30am as we arrived in the harbor at St. Petersburg, Russia. The shot was directly into the sun and I knew that by exposing for the sky I would get the orange light of morning and the shadows would block up giving only the outlines of the cranes. This also served to hide most of the industrial detritus scattered around this working port.
Silhouettes work for the same reason that black and white images do - they strip away most of the color and let the viewer focus on the shapes and forms in the image. The cranes stand out against the orange sky as there is very little additional detail in the image. If this had been shot in the cold light of day, the cranes would just be part of the industrial machinery on display in port.
This silhouette technique is relatively easy to achieve with most cameras as you simply let the camera go about its usual work when you point it at something bright - it will properly expose the brightest part of the image and throw the rest into shadow. Sometimes you may have to brace you camera against something solid because the light, even in the brightest part of the image, can be quite dim. Avoid the "shakes" by bumping up your ISO or finding something solid to steady the camera on.