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.

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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.

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



5 thoughts on “Light: Shadows – Pacific Northwest Photographer”

    1. Thank you Kelly! Bron still enjoys being my model but I don’t get Mr. Balan in there much. He makes his distaste for the camera very apparent, haha. It is funny when they get a clear awareness of a camera and it changes their behavior. Bron strikes a pose and Mr. Balan puts his ears back and squeezes his eyes shut into a truly miffed face. I give him lots of hugs for his cooperation.


  1. I love the color in your first image. Border collies are the best. We have a deafie who herds cats. He is smarter than all of us.


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