Tag Archives: silhouette

Sunset Silhouettes: Day 25

The upside to a busy day that keeps me away from home much later than usual is that I was driving home as the sun set.  I drove down along the coast, instead of the freeway, so it would be easy to find a place to park and head out with my camera as the sky pinked and the sun dipped lower and lower.

A volleyball game became a silhouette against the sky’s glow.  I snapped, trying to catch the ball in flight.

sunset volleyball

under the net

Sunset Silhouettes

In the pinks and oranges

of sunset’s glow

the world appears in silhouette

sharp black outlines

against a cotton candy sky

painted clouds

shift and drift

a game of hide and seek

the sun hides

and then reappears

beside the lifeguard tower

under the volleyball net

glowing just beyond reach

I chase it through my lens

playing peek-a-boo

until it splashes into the sea

Douillard 2018

sunset splash

And a student poem:

Poetry is…

Poetry is always threading and weaving into your mind,

Poetry is when I hear the birdies sing to the tune of the wind,

Poetry is a river of words splashing and crashing with joy!

Poetry is whatever you adore coming in and flying by.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouettes

Do you speak in images? Enjoy taking photos to document your experiences or just to express what you notice in the world? Love to share them with others? Welcome to the weekly photo challenge! I post a new challenge each week…check in regularly and join the fun!

As a photographer I am fascinated by light.  I know some of the rules that photographers are encouraged to follow…shoot with the light behind you, avoid the harsh light of mid-day, and more.  And light is tricky…it’s hard to get it just right.  Last weekend I was at the beach near sunset…the perfect time for shooting into the sun to create silhouettes.

I found myself chasing birds and people to snap the shutter just as they lined up with the sunlight, creating a sort of spotlight on the silhouette…like this shot of my husband.

Geoff silhouette

And I love the way this one of the seagull also has the oranges and yellows of the sun setting against the clouds with a bit of blue peeking through.

seagull silhouetteThis one of the fisherman surprised me.  It is a silhouette without shooting directly into the light.  It has a softness and blueness that delights me.  I will have to experiment with this technique more often.

fisherman silhouette

This photo of the lifeguard tower is more typical of a silhouette.  I was excited when the lifeguard came around the corner just as I pressed the shutter!

tower silhouette

Looking for photos that I hadn’t taken at the beach and where I still created a silhouette was a bit more challenging for me.  I have a favorite spot on my way to and from work where the sun, sky, and the palm trees interact.  I love playing with the angles of the row of palm trees and their playful dance with the sun.

palm tree silhouettesBut that is still pretty near the beach…so I continued my search for silhouettes and found a couple of interesting ones from my trip to Yellowstone last month.  Here is one of the arch at the north entrance to the park.

arch silhouette

And here is one of a wonderful huckleberry soft serve cone that I enjoyed near Old Faithful.

ice cream silhouette

And sometimes the best silhouette of all is the one I didn’t take.  This picture of me in silhouette was taken by my husband in Yellowstone as he snapped a photo of me taking a photo of the amazing clouds in the distance.

me silhouette

So this is the week to frame a silhouette.  You might catch a pet, a loved one, an iconic building, or something else as you look to the light.  You can create your silhouette with the natural light of the sun or create a silhouette using indoor light.  (I’ll have to try that!)

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 #silhouette for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

What will you find as you practice the art of the silhouette?  I can’t wait to find out!





Let There Be Light: A Light Study

What started as a photo-a-day challenge for a month over a year ago has become a daily practice, a hobby, and maybe even a passion for me.  I’ve noticed how my photographic eye has changed over time and how I am now thinking carefully not only about the subject of my photos, but also playing with framing, considering the rule of thirds, thinking about foreground and background, and studying light and its influence on the photo.

Today…Black Friday in the commercial, frenzied bargain hunting world…had us out early on this rare rainy day-after-Thanksgiving checking out bargains and enjoying time spent together.  And after the errands and lunch, I desperately wanted to go to the beach on this stormy (at least by our standards) day.

As we drove along the coast toward home, I was on the lookout for an interesting place to stop with a clear view of the beach.  We frequently go to the same beach, so today’s goal was to find another place–a new view–to explore.

We stopped at Ponto.  And it was surprisingly crowded.  The waves were big and the surfers plentiful.  People were in bathing suits, full wetsuits, shorts and flip flops, and boots and jackets…it is Southern CA after all.


I already had my eye on the jetty in the distance.  I knew I wanted to climb up on the rocks to get a great view of the sea.  But on the way I was sidetracked by the collection of lifeguard towers and found myself trying many different angles to capture the light and the ocean in the background.  I was struck by the dramatic differences in light and shadow. All of the photos were taken with my iPhone and are unedited and without any filters.

lifeguard tower study

I know the rule about having the sun at your back for the best photos, but sometimes I find myself wanting to shoot into the sun.  I love the way that shooting into the light creates silhouettes like in this picture of my husband looking out into the ocean.

beach silhouette

And I also played with angling the light behind me to capture more light…and in this case, the movement of the water and waves as well.

waves crash

When I pivoted 180 degrees in the other direction, the light my camera captured changed dramatically.

sun on water

Understanding the light and being aware of the source of the light makes a dramatic difference in photography.  By studying my photos I’ve learned some techniques that help me make more intentional choices rather than only happy (or unfortunate) accidents.  It’s fun to play around and see how shifts in lighting change the photos.

Light can change the mood and tone of the photo, make it more pensive, more dramatic, or lighter and more playful.  It changes colors, brightening or softening, creating depth and layers.  Earlier today I was trying to capture raindrops with my iPhone, without much success…because light and reflection were working against me.  I just couldn’t get enough contrast behind the drops to make them show through my lens.  But you can be certain that I will keep trying…whenever the next rainy day comes along.

What have you learned from the light today?