Photographing Shadows – An Adventure Of Light Manipulation

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The play of shadow and brightness may become a terrific subject to a photographer if taken with alertness.

shadow photography 1Our eyes have a normal tendency to feel attracted at the brighter sides in a photograph.

Therefore, in some cases it may be distracting too.

Here are some tips for amateurs about how to handle and play with the light and shadow.

  • While shooting outdoor, early or late day time with clear sky is the best choice. To generate shadows keep the sun behind the object or in front of the camera. A good observation is necessary.
  • Wait for the sun to move to your desired position to get the perfect effect of highs and lows of a rock, mountain peak, hill etc.

shadow photography

  • Photographing a silhouette makes one’s imagination alive. To shoot, place the subject in front of illuminated background with or without light falling on it. Go for simple subjects with clean outer line. Choose proper position in the backdrop of sea beach during dawn or dusk, lightened wall etc.
  • Use of filter yields varied background color effects.
  • While shooting during sunset, one should choose subjects with bold clear outline rather than too detailed patterns. A few palm trees or a couple walking on the beach goes well but a group of people or a forest lining a river forms a clump.
  • To shoot the foreground during sunset, let the sun go down and utilize the ambient light.
  • You can also create shadow in your own studio by using electric light or tungsten bulb and positioning the object in the way you want to shoot. Always avoid fluorescent tubes, LCD bulbs as they do not create sharp shadows.

Photographing in foggy places slightly lit by dispersed sunbeams brings a soft, wet, hazy touch in the final photo. You can shoot the effect of scattered sunlight when it passes through foliage, mountain spring to add drama to your picture.

shadow photography 2Architecture photo shoot also needs a hand mature in using shadows. Such photos are captured from some distance in bright sunny day or at night when the shadows are sharp, clear.

Photo manipulation is a program to mix and match several clips to get a perfect picture that looks normal. You can manipulate the illumination and shadows of the subject but perfect observation is a must, otherwise the ultimate picture may end up being unrealistic.

Photo editing programs are extensively used to manipulate light and shadow in the photographs.

Posted in: Digital Photography Tips and Tricks

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  1. lisa says:

    What a great article for amateurs.There are some excellent tips here and the photographs that accompany it are nice examples .I’m very eager to try this out!Thanks for posting……..

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