This week we explore the versatility of photographing shadows.
What do photography and shadows have in common?
Neither would exist without light! Photography is about painting with light while shadows are about blocking light.
Shadows are great devices to allude to something outside of the frame. They add information and a sense of mystery to the story of your image. Although we don't see the object, we know it's there.
Typically shadows reveal contrast between dark and light areas of the image.
Depending upon the lighting angle, they can assume beautifully abstract shapes and patterns.
Pale shadows in irregular shapes are also useful to soften the light and create a more peaceful mood. The light is depicted as less harsh and contrasting.
A shadow carefully positioned can add drama to an otherwise mundane subject.
- Try shooting the shadow without the source in the frame to create a more graphic, abstract look.
- Look for surface variations under the shadow like textures and colours to add interest.
- Play with distorting shadow shapes by varying your shooting angle.
- For more interest, look for 3 D surfaces and resist the urge to photograph flat shapes.