Photographing shadows

February 13, 2023

Let’s talk about photographing shadows. Why, because shadows in photography are awesome.

It’s easy to get obsessed with the light because photography is afterall the act of capturing and recording the light. However, much like the redundant superhero in the absence of his or her nemesis the super villain, what is the light without the darkness.

As photographers we spend our time manipulating the light or manipulating our subject to be caught by the light in a certain way but when doing this we have to remember that the shadow forms part of this manipulation too.

The shadows create the beauty, the points of interest. 

I’m much more inspired to take a photograph when I see an inviting shadow creeping into the room. That’s one of the most exciting things about photographing with natural light, because it’s so hard to avoid the shadow. I’m really enjoying photographing portraits with a single light at the moment too, and I think that’s why – to be able to create a lovely little shadow along one side of the face.

Shadows can be your enemy if used in the wrong way. A shadow cast across half of a landscape image, or maybe across the eyes in a portrait won’t do the pictures any favours but when used with intention, shadows really enhance a photograph. In my opinion.

Have a look through the gallery below to see if you agree. And if you don’t, let me know. I’d love to hear what you think.

Written by Paul Tschornow

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