Silhouettes: Why sunsets and dog photography go hand in hand

dog at sunrise at evans landing in north Idaho

Before you get too excited, you should know that most of my silhouettes are accidental.

Like this:

girl and her dog at sunset at tubbs hill in coeur d'alene
One click
girl and her dog in silhouette at tubbs hill sunset
Next click

I keep my Nikon D750 and D500 on burst mode all the time. When I’m setting for a fabulous off-camera flash image with my Godox AD200, I tend to rip off a few shots that aren’t well lit.

I’ve done silhouettes in the past with landscape work. This is one of my favorite trees on the Palouse.

Palouse tree at sunset
The lone tree shot

Only once have I thought to intentionally set up a silhouette and I thought it turned out horribly. Then again, it was also a combination of a selfie, sunsets and dog photography.

But hang on, I’ll get to that.

I’ve become so inspired by some of the amazing silhouettes created by the amazing women in my pet photography circle that I can’t help but want to make them myself.

Darlene Woodward, Nicole Hrustyk … you will get to meet them and more when you launch into this week’s blog circle.

I have mad respect for these women and I hesitate to put my accidental work up against their beautiful images.

The perfect place for sunsets and dog photography

Oh, the beach.

Every year since I moved to Spokane from Canada, we have spent a few days each fall in Oregon. It’s my little patch of paradise, a spot to listen to the waves and watch the sun go down over the Pacific Ocean.

(I have seen the sun rise over the Atlantic, the sun set over the Pacific. Something feels complete about that.)

I had a vision for a silhouette image one year and strong-armed my husband for posing for it. I had to promise his face would not be in it (um … duh, silhouette, dude … come on now).

silhouette at sunset on Oregon Coast
The heads

I’m not a huge fan of it. I’m not even sure why. Maybe it’s just because I’m in it. Or it could be the angle and all we really see of my “subjects” are heads.

I would have loved to attempt a do-over this year. Alack and alas, COVID was raging up and down the coast and we decided to cancel our Airbnb.

Maybe in the spring.

A spot that’s more local

Ah, me … there’s a spot in Coeur d’Alene that is just the most divine location for sunsets and dog photography.

A wee hike down a hill to a rocky beach, turn a corner and voila … this amazing rock formation backdropped by Lake Coeur d’Alene and the sky.

Erg … maybe I shouldn’t be giving away this spot. At least it goes under water in early June and becomes inaccessible.

German shepherd in silhouette at Higgens Point, Coeur d'Alene
German shepherd ears

Or hike back up the hill and head over to the little beach with the docks on it. That’s where I nailed this shot of Andrea and her Bernese mountain dog as the sun was starting to dip behind the mountains.

girl and her dog in silhouette at Higgens Point, Couer d'Alene
I sing you the song of my people

I even set this one up as a silhouette.

I’m proud of me. LOL.

Mid-day silhouettes

OK, I may have seen this one happening before I lined it up.

Basil was a perfect little poser, her border collie ears ever so perky.

border collie puppy at Corbin Park
#dogsonrocks

A formation of rocks — rocks! #dogsonrocks! — juts out into the Spokane River at Corbin Park in Post Falls, Idaho. We got some good stuff there but then I spied a ridge and told her mama Julie to head on up there and hold her in place.

The clouds dropped a sweet softbox of light behind her, giving me a chance to underexpose and turn it into a silhouette in Photoshop.

border collie puppy in silhouette at Corbin Park
Ears!

All around the circle

I would love to add silhouettes into my bag of tricks. What do you think?

Now let’s go visit those badass dog photographers who make their silhouettes intentional. We’ll start with Seattle dog photographer Holly Cook, explaining why she loves creating silhouettes and helps you see the story in the image.

When you get to the bottom of her post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going until you find yourself back here to silhouettes, sunsets and dog photography in Spokane and North Idaho. That’s when you know you’re home.

Right where you belong.

And when you’re ready to get your own silhouette, head to my contact page and fill out my get-to-know-you form.

nv-author-image

Dogs. Adventure. Outdoors. These words set Angela's heart afire. Angela Schneider, an award-winning writer and dog photographer, documents the story of you and your dog and the adventures you take together. Your portraits will be a statement piece in your home, art that will make your friends and family beg to hear its story.

5 thoughts on “Silhouettes: Why sunsets and dog photography go hand in hand”

  1. Awww… thank you so much for the shout out, Angela! I’ll wake up for some good silhouettes!
    German Shepherd Ears is my favorite! Nothing like a silhouette of some awesome dog ears 🙂 Your locations are amazing! Nicely done!

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