Weekly Photo Challenge: Outlines

I was recently reading a newsletter from a blogger I enjoy (joyfullygreen.com) and something she wrote caught my eye…that the word photography comes from Greek roots meaning writing with light. Now that makes sense to me.  Sometimes I feel like I draw with the light…and sometimes I feel like I am drawing the outlines between the light.

The other night I was walking back to my room at the retreat center where I was staying in Austin and started to notice the shadows of trees along the walkways.  As I stopped to take pictures, I also noticed that I entered some of the images as well, outlined in shadow.


The tree in front of my house has become a favorite of mine, drawing my attention upward. It’s bare branches outline interesting angles creating a perfect frame for viewing the sky and clouds, helping me notice the blues and grays and whites beyond.


Sometimes I find myself chasing the setting sun, trying to capture the nuances of light and color.  Hiking in Austin meant searching for the sun through the trees along the trails. This shot caught the sun outlined thickly in orange peeking through the trees.  (That’s not snow or water…those are rocks on the ground!)


Apparently prickly pear is as common in Austin as it is here at home.  I love the way the light outlines this view of the flat, spiky pads and the rounded red fruit.


Finding the word “Exit” outlined in thick black marker makes me wonder how many people have felt lost or confused trying to complete this loop trail.  I know when I climbed the many log stairs at the end of the loop, I was looking for the exit!  I didn’t need the sign…and actually overlooked it the first time I walked the trail.


And there is something about sunsets.  They seem to outline the landscape in color: rich reds and oranges and yellows.  And if you look closely, you will find the moon–a thin sliver outlined in light.


So, where do you find the light creating outlines?  Or shadows and color outlining images you see?  How do you write with light and see those outlines you find in your world?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #outlines for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Take a look around for outlines you notice.  Which are created with light? With shadow? With color?  How will you interpret outlines through your lens?

6 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Outlines

  1. margaretsmn

    Thank you for your weekly challenges. I don’t always follow through with my own photographs, but I love looking and thinking about the images you take. My sister lives in Austin, and she loves taking photographs. I got the Sony camera for Christmas. I am enjoying playing with it, but I still feel like such a novice. I’d love to know how you got that sliver of moon picture. Thanks.

    1. kd0602 Post author

      Hi Margaret,
      Thanks for your feedback…I do love taking the photos and sharing them here. I know that I enjoy looking at others’ photos and thinking about how I might capture a similar technique.

      I’m still feeling quite novice with the Sony too. I mostly use the automatic settings…although I am finally ready to explore more options. My favorite lens is the one that goes from macro to 16-50. That’s the one I used to take the moon photo. I think like photography in general, you have to take lots of shots from different angles to find the “one”. Do you have more than one lens?

      1. kd0602 Post author

        Hi Margaret. When I edit (which is seldom), I tend to use apps on my phone like Camera+ and Snapseed. My son (who is a much more accomplished photographer than I am) swears by photoshop. (He shoots in RAW so he can do significant editing) What are you using? Are you shooting RAW?

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