In our last B&W challenge we focused on Finding the Light. This week we’ll be focusing on the opposite: shadows. Seeing shadows is not always easy because as photographers, we’re not only drawn to beautiful light, but often we try to eliminate shadows (especially harsh ones) because they can be unattractive. However, shadows can be used to great effect as a compositional element adding balance, depth, definition and/or drama to a photo.
Shadows can be a compositional element creating balance. Similar to reflections, they double the volume of the subject. I can see the heart shape captured below as a popular choice, but there are many other mirrored shadows that might be interesting subjects. I encourage you to be creative.
Sometimes shadows are the subject. The shadows in the image below create an interesting pattern on the table and become the subject more so than the glass itself.
Long shadows can add depth to a scene. Whether it be the late afternoon sun casting shadows over a landscape or street lights on a city street, the long shadows give a sense of perspective and increased depth.
Shadows can add definition to textures. When textures are lit from the side, the resulting shadows increase the impact of the texture.
Shadows can add shape and contrast to an otherwise flat image. The geometric lines created by the shadows are quite fascinating in the photo below. They add a unique compositional element to an otherwise simple scene.
Shadows can also add drama. The image below would be completely different without the shadow projecting on the wall and the distortion of the shadow adds a bit of tension as well as mystery to the scene.
Don’t worry if you don’t have sun in your forecast this week. You can play with casting shadows indoors using a flashlight or any other light of your choosing.
For more information on the concept of using shadows in your photography, check out:
- Using Shadows to Enhance Your Compositions
- 5 Ways to Use Shadows in Your Composition for Better Images
- How to Capture Bold and Beautiful Photographs Using Shadows
- Judicious Use of Shadows in Creative Composition
- Using Shadows to Enhance Composition
This week’s challenge:
- Look for interesting shadows that catch your eye and work the scene to capture a strong composition. Or create interesting shadows with lighting of your choice and capture that.
- Your final image should be a B&W grayscale image, but you can come to that image any way that you would like from capturing B&W in camera to converting in post-processing.
- Don’t forget about proper exposure and contrast which are especially important in a B&W image.
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to our active community on our Facebook Group, Flickr Groupor 500PX group (or all three). Tag the photo: #10thanniversaryphotochallenge #2018photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2018 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.
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