As February comes to a close, our pet photography theme this week is "silhouettes". This is a type of photography where the details are lost, just the outline of your subject (hopefully a recognizable subject by shape) is depicted. Wikipedia states the following about silhouettes: "A silhouette is the image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single color, usually black, with its edges matching the outline of the subject. The interior of a silhouette is featureless, and the whole is typically presented on a light background, usually white, or none at all. The silhouette differs from an outline, which depicts the edge of an object in a linear form, while a silhouette appears as a solid shape."
I very much wanted to head someplace a capture a beautiful sunset (I'm not getting up and moving fast enough for the sunrise at the moment) and do my silhouette photos for this week's blog. Unfortunately, reality came into the schedule and I realized that probably wasn't going to happen - either I wasn't free to do it or the weather wasn't a beautiful sunset. Either way, it wasn't going to happen in the few days I had available. I can usually go to the neighborhood park and capture some photographs. As I headed down to the park, I realized that this park is empty when I walk in the morning (perhaps everyone else is heading to school or work) but there are a LOT of people there in the evenings! Typically, Abby and Jimbo are pretty good and I can either drop the leash or take it off and keep them under voice command providing no other dog comes into the overall scene. The volume of people at the playground, boat ramp and park gave me a little concern this time - would Jimbo and Abby stay put? Bottom line, once I put the camera to my face, I'm not actually able to see what is happening around me - I have to depend on the dogs to alert me if something interesting is happening - and that can be a bird, squirrel, dog, person and probably a few things I missed.
I decided to trust them and one at a time, drop their leash and give them the 'stay' command. It worked! I'm sure there were a few people that watched from afar, as I had just let go of the leash for a 60+ pound dog. First, Abby - I got down low to put the sky behind Abby and get a few photographs - I stayed close using a 35mm lens. This is Abby, she is actually wearing her collar and harness, but neither appear in the photo as I have used Adobe Lightroom to increase the blacks and shadows to remove all details of Abby.
Next up, Jimbo - this silhouette is of Jimbo. Jimbo is wearing his collar, plus a flea collar and the shape of his head is definitely different than Abby's. Course, I knew that, but it's more obvious in this silhouette photograph.
In the next silhouette, I positioned the sun with Jimbo's head and sun flares over his head. This photograph isn't a true silhouette as you can see some details of Jimbo.
I'm actually noticing all the fur details on each of my dogs faces and heads. In this photograph, Abby is actually turned away from me and looking at the sunset. When the subject turns away as Abby has done in this case, the overall shape of her changes dramatically and is not showing much of her actual shape. It's important to have the subject lined up such that you can see the overall shape and it is easily recognizable.
This photograph of Abby reminds me of a comic where the character is talking - I think this is because of her mouth being open and the sunset shows through.
For more 'silhouette' pet photographs head over to visit Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography, fetching family portraits in Coppell, Texas and surrounding communities in North Texas and then head around the rest of the blog circle.
If you would like to book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to email@example.com or give us a call/text at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Florida).