Light: Shadows – Pacific Northwest Photographer

For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the visual contrast of light and dark.  I love seeing the depth in an image as the shadows create lines of fascinating emotion. Shadows give an image personality and dimension.  This is why I chose graphite and charcoal as my favorite art media when drawing.  But, I’ve never considered shadows as a potential artistic influence in my photography.  In fact, I try to avoid hard shadows because I don’t like how it falls across a subject’s face.  Especially with black dogs.  I need clean, broad shade with no shadows for black dogs.

A few days ago, I took my family and both Border Collie boys to Manito Park to create some head shots of my husband for his non-profit ministry.  He has some music on Pandora and other music programs where a head shot is needed.  Manito Park is heavily treed with gorgeous, large trees of mature age.  This creates a challenge of hard shadows mixed with bright sunlight.  In between wrangling dogs, boys, and taking images of my husband, I managed to practice on shadows.  I like the results of the deep, tree shadows in the first photo, best.  It caused both dogs to have one eye lit and one dark with splashes of sunlight in places on their fur due to the tree branches.  The colors were amazing, too!  It might look like Fall in this image but this is what happens to our natural, deciduous foliage as it dries out during Summer.  The colors will deepen as the heat continues.

joshua-1434 EE WM.jpg

Below, I have included an image that I took with my preferred lighting (same time & place):  no shadows, broad shade, and open sky behind me.  I really like both, though, and I’ll keep edging out of my box to seek creative, organic effects.

joshua-1451 EE WM.jpg

To continue on the Project 52 journey, please visit Little White Dog Pet Photography – Sioux Falls, SD.



Downtown Spokane & Light Reflections

Today is a double-up post!  I want to share with all of you a couple of beautiful Aussies that recently helped me out, AND, our session location fit perfectly with this weeks Project 52 lesson: Light Reflections.

For some time, I’ve been wanting to do a portfolio session in downtown Spokane.  We have so many old buildings with great textures and some fantastic artists who have worked on a wide variety of surfaces.  The efforts to beautify and uplift our city center has been wonderful and I know many people continue to work very hard at the endeavor.  I wanted to get more shots within Riverfront Park but parts of it are being closed or blocked to implement some fantastic new features and upgrades.  It has come a long way since the World Fair in 1974 and it is time for the park to receive detailed attention.  Because of that history, I HAD to get in as many shots as possible.

Insert, Jewel and Dallas…two gorgeous Aussie dogs who won an FB drawing/contest I did for friends.  They were such a great help as we navigated through an area of the park and one of our city’s main streets.  There is a lot of noise with construction, Pokemon Go players, kids playing in the park, sirens, and all the sounds of urban life.  But Jewel and Dallas are service dogs with great poise.  I couldn’t have asked for better models in working a new location.

At our first stop in the park, we were right by the Spokane River.  Perfect opportunity to work with Light Reflections!  In our Project 52 Visual Toolbox book, it mentions how photographers can get so focused with their subject that they forget to see how the environment around injects itself into the portrait.  Reflections from shiny surfaces or water can ruin an image if you aren’t taking it into account.  In my case, I wanted to see familiar landmarks of Riverfront Park reflected in the water behind my subjects.  Not in an overtly clear way, but subtly.  The dogs still needed to be the main focus.  But, I also needed to watch how strong the light bounced off the water.  Below are two different perspectives from two sides of the river…two Aussie dogs by the Spokane RiverAussie dog on 2 concrete blocks

You can see how differently the light responds based on which side of the river we were on.  I love both results, though!

We continued down Howard St. to look for urban textures.  I’m pretty sure this image is my favorite out of all the session photos.  Jewel is a uniquely colorful girl with golden toned eyes but the textures of her coat and walls had a black/white overlay calling to me.

Bekkah-1306 EE WM.jpg

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today!  If you are interested in seeing more great pet photography, please follow the Project 52 blog circle to: Kim with BARKography based in Charlotte NC.

Meet Rip, Mr. Amiable – Spokane Pet Photographer

Yes, it’s about time I found a moment to write about this particularly sweet and affable black Labrador, Rip!  Rip’s dad contacted me with the plan of purchasing a Hoof N Paw Aplenty session for his lovely bride’s birthday.  Rip is a treasured family member and what better gift than lasting images of his cheerful self.

Given that we were in the latter month of Spring, the days were abundantly full of thunderstorms.  This meant a longer wait than we all wanted.  But, the day finally arrived for Rip’s session and it couldn’t have been a better one!  I was immediately enthralled with Rip the moment he came out of the car.  His black coat, so soft, and his eye alight with good humor.  Rip is a happy dog.  And, I discovered, exceptionally patient!

ASH-0137 EE3 wmm.jpg

As we walked about the session location, stopping for shots, Rip worked hard to not let his nose and desire to explore get out of hand.  It isn’t easy to be still and act handsome when there are other dogs running about, playing and sniffing.  He was the epitome of patience and didn’t give his photographer a moment of frustration.  A jewel among Labradors!

ASH-9913 EE2 wm.jpg

On occasion, Rip likes to go hunting with his dad.  He does a pretty good job, too!  He listens and tries hard.  This inevitably came as a blessing because doing a lot of “sit-stays” or “down-stays” for an hour and a half can be wearying for a dog.  But, Rip was a champion!  He enjoyed our break for play-time and kept that smile on his face at all times.  Of course, with his customary, adorably upturned lip.


ASH-9786 EE wm

Rip did a fantastic job and I know his parents are proud of him!  Thank you, Rip!