Seeing shadows and shades

JJWP307Most of us avoid shadows and shades. Without the proper camera setting, or in-cam picture modes like backlighting and HDR effects, those shadows and shades become just dark, undefined areas in an image. We would not want that. Shadows and shades are caused by a light source. Inside our houses those are caused by flourescent lights, bulbs and lamps. Outside there is one primary light source and that is the sun. Where the sun is at the time of  day determines where shadows set, as the sun’s light falls on objects. Midday sun is harsh and bright and will cast deep shadows right under objects. Photographers prefer the sun on the horizon, during sunrise or sunset, where light is soft and subdued, where dramatic colors come out, and where shadows from objects cast long, striking forms. Wherever shadows fall at whatever time of day, the keen photographer will be aware of the light and the shadows, and will use them to effectively compose his image. This article by Jmeyer titled Creative Landscape Photography: Master the Dark Art of Shadows and Shade will guide us on how to properly manage and compose our shot utilizing to our advantage those shadow elements. He shares tips on where to place the sun, how to get the right exposure, how to be creative with shadows and how to shoot with a low sun and shadow. Though the article is generally a guide on landscape photography, the techniques provided by the author can be applied on other genres and shooting situations because essentially it is all about the placement of light and how it affects subjects. Shadows and shades are created by the light source. Knowing how to capably capture them and expertly place them in the frame as they form shapes, patterns, lines and textures can result in visually compelling images. (Photo location: Loboc River, Bohol province)


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  1. Pingback: in the gaps. « Sick with Poetry.

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