RSS
 

Posts Tagged ‘Shadows’

5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography

14 Nov

Walking into a dimly lit room can be a photographer’s worse nightmare. Dark walls, low lighting, and weird shadows are enough to give even the calmest photographer a case of anxiety. Does this sound familiar? It did to me when I was first starting out and claimed to be a natural light photographer.

Because let’s face it, I did not know how to use my flash and more importantly did not know how to read light. Yes, I said that right. As a photographer, you not only see light but also need to learn the art of reading light – the type of light, the quality of light and also how the light will affect your final image.

The more I started to photograph people and places, the more I realized that but finding light among the shadows wasn’t really that scary or daunting.

How to Embrace Shadows in Your Photography

Master the shadows

Imagine for a moment the confidence you would feel if you can walk into any indoor lighting situation and think to yourself, “Yes, I got this”. And I don’t mean using your off-camera flash or strobes to light up the whole scene like the fourth of July fireworks display. I mean using only available light to create some magical photos.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still love images taken in natural light as they feel really light, airy, and inviting to me. But shooting in a low-key style, embracing shadows to create some dramatic portraits is just as fun and exciting.

For the past few years, I have felt a little limited in my photography in terms of only photographing in bright, open, natural light conditions. Living in Chicago, our summers are quite short and fall is usually a mix of rain, thunderstorms and more rain. I learned very quickly that I needed to get out of my comfort zone and figure out how to photograph indoors and do it confidently and creatively.

A less I quickly learned is that shadows play such an important role in shaping light, setting the mood, rendering depth, and creating drama. In the absence of floor-to-ceiling multi-windowed, light-filled rooms to photograph in, embracing shadows may be the perfect solution for unleashing your creativity.

#1 Gear choices

Dark and Moody Lifestyle Portraits - How to Embrace Shadows in Your Photography

If you have a choice between prime and zoom lenses, choose the former. Primes are generally considered fast lenses with an aperture of f/1.8 or larger and allow what light there is to reach the camera’s sensor. My Canon 50mm f/1.2 is on my camera 80% of the time I am photographing indoors.

Make sure to also meter appropriately. I use spot metering most of the time and have my center spot set to the brightest area on my subject’s face/skin. This, in itself, will help to get a dramatically lit image. It will expose the highlights properly and allow the rest of the scene to have shadows for a range of tones.

Ensure you expose properly as well. If the capture is underexposed, attempting to correct it in post-processing only adds noise. In general, I tend to overexposure my photos by at least 1/3 stop no matter where I am photographing. I have found that this allows me to minimize noise and retain as much detail as possible in the shadows.

My White Balance is set to Auto. You can choose to set White Balance via the custom Kelvin function so that it can cut down processing time later. I find that being in Auto works really well in most cases and I am okay with minor adjustments in post-processing if required. Learn to embrace a bit of noise by increasing the ISO especially if the room is really dark.

Dark and Moody Lifestye Portraits in Shadows - How to Embrace Shadows in Your Photography

#2 Single light source

A single light source such as a small window or open door can work wonders for your image. When you are working with dark spaces and limited light, you’ll be surprised how little light you actually need.

If you have north-facing windows, they tend to bring in a softer and more directional light as opposed to east or west facing. Those tend to bring strong light depending on where the sun is in the sky at the time you are photographing.

Dark and Moody Wedding Portraits in Shadows - 5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography

Backlight magic.

Dark and Moody Wedding Portraits in Shadows - 5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography

The bride is facing the window and her profile is evenly lit. But the dark drapes behind her render the background almost black – I quite love the drama of light and dark happening in this photo – achieved by just placing the subject in a specific spot.

#3 Direction and quality of light

Both the direction and the quality of light play significant roles in the mood of an image. So understanding the variety, nature, and use of each will help you make informed decisions about how to achieve your end goal.

Hard, focused light tends to amp up the overall drama of the image, emphasizing texture and detail, and producing contrasty shadows with sharp, defined edges. Soft, diffused light gives shadows soft, feathered edges that recede gently (dither away), making it flattering and versatile for human subjects for the way it minimizes texture and detail (i.e., flaws).

The angle and direction of the light you choose depend on your shooting style and your intent for the image or session. Typically, I do not position the subject facing the light source because it gives a flat, one-dimensional look to the subject’s features. I prefer lighting my subjects from the side for the depth and dimension the shadows give the subject’s features and the rest of the frame.

Backlighting the subject has its uses, particularly if your intent is to somewhat abstract the subject to get an airy, dreamlike feel.

Dark and Moody Wedding Portraits in Shadows - 5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography

On the left, the bride is facing the window straight on, so the light on her face is even and soft. On the right, the bride is facing the window but at a 45-degree angle. So her portrait is a mix of more dramatic light as well as darker shadows.

#4 Mathematics in photography

The mathematical law of the Inverse Square describes how the illumination from a light source diminishes over distances.

Imagine the beam of a spotlight as it widens and grows dimmer in the distance. Now center a subject in the beam close to spotlight itself and the light will be harsh. But if you move the subject in a straight line to stand about 6 feet from the light, how much less light is hitting the subject them? With the distance doubled, the light hitting the subject is diminished by three quarters.

In a real-world context, let’s say you’ve got a background to work with and maybe a surface to bounce light into the scene. Plus all kinds of diffusers and filters to modify the light source, and a choice of where to place the subject in relation to the background and the light source as well as placing yourself and the camera.

Generally, you can add drama to the image by positioning your subject close to the light source and away from the background. The light will illuminate the subject and everything behind her will dwindle into shadow. That’s a quick and easy way to create a dark background in-camera. Conversely, placing the subject further from the light source and closer to the background will create a more evenly lit scene with a more gradual shift between light and shadow (the background will be lighter as well).

Dark and Moody Wedding Portraits in Shadows - 5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography

On the left, the bride is farther away from the light source and hence she is more in the shadows as compared to the image on the right where she is facing the window light and is closer to the light source. So more of her face is being illuminated with the light coming from the window.

#5 Modify or mold your light source

If you find yourself with an over-abundance of natural/available light, using modifiers is an easy way to control the amount and intensity of the lighting on your subject.

Sheer curtains and blinds can be used to reduce or diffuse light, making it softer and subtler. You can decrease the size of the light source to increase shadows and increase drama with the use of blackout curtains or by partially shutting doors. Remember, the more light you let in, the less intense the shadows.

I hope these examples motivate you to look differently at shadows. There are no photography monsters hiding in them! They are, in fact, quite useful in adding some drama and interest in your photographs.

The post 5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography by Karthika Gupta appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
Comments Off on 5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography

Posted in Photography

 

Secrets in the Shadows: Urban Objects Transformed with Sidewalk Paint

29 Aug

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

You might not even notice there’s anything unusual about these shadows until you’re right up on them, wondering why in the world a mailbox looks like a grinning monster, fearing that somebody slipped you a psychedelic drug. There’s nothing wrong with your perception of the world. You’re just lucky enough to spot one of Damon Belanger’s shadow art creations in the wild, painted on urban surfaces all over Redwood City, California. Depending on the time of day, the shadows can be surprisingly convincing, catching passersby off guard.

A public bench becomes a cat, a bicycle has a mind of its own and a cartoon train scoots along the top of a fence. A fire hydrant sprouts a maze, and smiling flowers grow from the bases of bike racks. The work was created in partnership with the Redwood City Improvement Association, and though it may be simple, it’s sweet, and a fun way to liven up public spaces. You can see more on Belanger’s Instagram.

“The shadow art has allowed me to bring out a more whimsical side of my art and allows me to play with shadows,” Belanger told the Daily Journal. “The shadows give regular mundane objects a lively spirit so people can have a little fun in their everyday lives.”

Share on Facebook





[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


WebUrbanist

 
Comments Off on Secrets in the Shadows: Urban Objects Transformed with Sidewalk Paint

Posted in Creativity

 

Art in the Shadows: Everyday Objects Cast Unexpected Shapes Onto Paper

10 Dec

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

art-in-the-shadows-3

Has doodling ever been more creative than this? While most people wouldn’t give a second’s thought to the shape an everyday object’s shadow casts upon adjacent surfaces, artist Vincent Bal looks at them and sees the beginnings of a character or scene. It might be a phone charger, a fallen leaf, a drinking glass or a Christmas ornament, but in its shadow, Bal sees far more than the object itself.

art-in-the-shadows

art-in-the-shadows-2

art-in-the-shadows-5

art-in-the-shadows-6

art-in-the-shadows-7

Each of Bal’s quick and clever illustrations is a testament to the creativity of an artist’s brain. Calling his work ‘shadowology,’ Bal plays around with silhouettes and light sources to find inspiration for sketches most people would never dream up. It takes the game of finding shapes in the clouds and applies an artist’s hand to the process, embellishing the shapes into something more.

art-in-the-shadows-8

art-in-the-shadows-9

vincent-bal-2

vincent-bal-1

Calling himself a ‘filmmaker and doodler and procrastinator from Belgium’, Bal shares his work on his popular Instagram account and sells prints on Etsy.

Share on Facebook





[ By SA Rogers in Art & Drawing & Digital. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


WebUrbanist

 
Comments Off on Art in the Shadows: Everyday Objects Cast Unexpected Shapes Onto Paper

Posted in Creativity

 

Out of the shadows: Aaron Draper discusses ‘Underexposed’

23 Jan

We introduced Aaron Draper’s project ‘Underexposed’ a little while back. In case you missed it, Draper has made a project of taking stylized portraits of individuals experiencing homelessness, aiming to help others literally see them in a new light. Filmmaker Eric Becker sat down with him at PIX 2015 to talk in depth about the project – how it came about, what the critical reaction has been to it and how Draper earns the trust of his subjects. Find out how the project came together.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on Out of the shadows: Aaron Draper discusses ‘Underexposed’

Posted in Uncategorized

 

Weekly Photography Challenge – Shadows

18 Jul

To have a strong shadow you must have a hard light source, one that is small and harsh. That includes:

  • Direct sunlight
  • A spotlight
  • A bright flashlight
  • Streetlights

Have a look on an overcast day – you cannot see your own shadow.

Oiluj Samall Zeid

By Oiluj Samall Zeid

Weekly Photography Challenge – Shadows

This week it’s your job to find and photography some shadows (like these). Keep in mind what a good shadow photograph is:

  • Shows the shape of something easily identifiable
  • Dramatic
  • Graphic
  • About shapes and form
  • Often found late in the day or early morning when the sun is low and the shadows are longer

On the other side of the coin also consider what is not a shadow:

  • A silhouette
  • A reflection
Hernán Piñera

By Hernán Piñera

The image above is a silhouette not a shadow. The light is coming from behind the subject and while there is a shadow the outline of the subject is the actual person not a shadow. This is the key difference.

Stefano Corso

By Stefano Corso

In the image above the outlines are reflections, not shadows.

Be clear on the difference between the three when you head out to shoot your shadows like these:

Marina Del Castell

By Marina del Castell

TumblingRun

By TumblingRun

Loren Kerns

By Loren Kerns

Shadow selfies work great sometimes too. Watch for them as you go about your day:

KimManleyOrt

By KimManleyOrt

Todd Lappin

By Todd Lappin

Hernán Piñera

By Hernán Piñera

John Sonderman

By John Sonderman

Scott Schiller

By Scott Schiller

Ian Sane

By Ian Sane

Share your images below:

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer upload them to your favourite photo sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge. Sometimes it takes a while for an image to appear so be patient and try not to post the same image twice.

Stefano Corso

By Stefano Corso

Kumar's Edit

By Kumar’s Edit

Evelyn Berg

By Evelyn Berg

Ruben Steeman

By Ruben Steeman

googletag.cmd.push(function() {
tablet_slots.push( googletag.defineSlot( “/1005424/_dPSv4_tab-all-article-bottom_(300×250)”, [300, 250], “pb-ad-78623” ).addService( googletag.pubads() ) ); } );

googletag.cmd.push(function() {
mobile_slots.push( googletag.defineSlot( “/1005424/_dPSv4_mob-all-article-bottom_(300×250)”, [300, 250], “pb-ad-78158” ).addService( googletag.pubads() ) ); } );

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Shadows by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
Comments Off on Weekly Photography Challenge – Shadows

Posted in Photography

 

Weekly Photography Challenge – Shadows

11 Oct

Early I shared an assortment of shadowy images. I love playing with light and photographing shadows is a great way to help you learn to see light, and direction of light. Here are a few more examples:

Mgstanton

By mgstanton

Life Pilgrim

By Life Pilgrim

Daniela Hartmann

By Daniela Hartmann

This week’s photography challenge is all about the shadows. So head out and look for some light that creates interesting shadows. For a shadow image to work well you need a couple of things:

  1. A hard light course like direct sun. You cannot find good shadows on an overcast or cloudy day.
  2. Light that skims the surface like the late evening or dusk kind. Look for the long shadows at the end of the day (or first thing in the morning) they will add more drama to your images.
  3. An interesting and well defined subject. For a shadow to be interesting the viewer needs to be able to identify and connect with the object producing the shadow, even if the object isn’t in the photo itself. Some things that work particularly well are trees, bicycles, people, a fence, etc.

Let’s see a few more examples that are well done:

Michael

By Michael

Angelo Domini

By Angelo Domini

Harris Hui

By Harris Hui

Broo_am (Andy B)

By Broo_am (Andy B)

Seema Krishnakumar

By Seema Krishnakumar

Grozz

By Grozz

Camil Tulcan

By Camil Tulcan

Mark Anderson

By Mark Anderson

David Rodriguez Martin

By David Rodriguez Martin

Hapal

By hapal

Magdalena Roeseler

By Magdalena Roeseler

You can see by the images above that even tiny things like a seed can produce a great shadow. Find some ordinary household objects, put them in the sun, and see what the light does to the shadow. Try rotating it or moving around it.

Another idea is to do a self portrait using your own shadow. See how creative you can get with that. Throw your shadow on a wall, do a crazy pose, or get your camera in the shadow too. Mix it up, let’s see what you got! Humor is good too!

Dustin Diaz

By Dustin Diaz

Gian?merz

By gian?merz

Claudio Cicali

By Claudio Cicali

Volodymyr Pavlyuk

By Volodymyr Pavlyuk

BMiz

By BMiz

Sherwood411

By Sherwood411

Share your images of shadows

Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section as pictured below) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer upload them to your favourite photo sharing site and leave the link to them. Show me your best images in this week’s challenge.

 

The post Weekly Photography Challenge – Shadows by Darlene Hildebrandt appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
Comments Off on Weekly Photography Challenge – Shadows

Posted in Photography

 

Book of Shadows: 2D Shape Cutouts Cast Silhouettes on Pages

24 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

motion train animated example

A children’s book with an interactive twist, Motion Silhouette engages readers through pop-up pieces that require lighting to animate shadow pictures on each page.

motion train moving page

motion train other page

motion womans face page

motion butterfly shape page

The idea is to add elements of manual animation that are necessarily subjective – each person will hold, turn and highlight the cutouts in different ways.

motion animated book shadow

motion silhouete tree city

motion silhouette

Secondary readers or viewers (young kids watching over parents’ shoulders) will also have their own unique experience each time.

silhoutte book one

silhouette spider web

silhouette plant shapes

silhouette cross page

silhouette bird page

Motion Silhouette is actually a sequel to another book, simply titled Silhouette (excerpts shown above), a work which similarly uses slightly less-developed pop-up pages to create a more basic multi-dimensional experience.

motion silhouette book

From its Japanese creators, Megumi Kajiwara and Tathuhiko Nijima: “I will begin to talk about the story and illustrations shadow falls on top of the page overlap. In this work, you can enjoy the animation of shadow phantasmagoric by you move the light. Trees and become bigger and bigger, which aims to train a distant star. Story that changes depending on the page falling shadows, shadows move around the top of the page.”

Share on Facebook





[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Products & Packaging. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


WebUrbanist

 
Comments Off on Book of Shadows: 2D Shape Cutouts Cast Silhouettes on Pages

Posted in Creativity

 

Head Light: Popup Wall Lamp Has Horns that Glow in Shadows

18 Jul

[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

light and dark headlight

A classy alternative to hanging animal parts, this deer head wall lamp started as a design concept, went viral as a prototype and has just been funded for full production via a successful crowdfunding campaign.

popup lighting design

owl lamp pop up

peacock lamp pop up

This particular popup lighting design is the first in a series of pieces that combine abstracted animals (including an owl and a peacock) and minimalist home lighting design – a sort of modern (and less morbid) take on faux taxidermy.

popup dear head light

deer head light pair

pop up light night

Chen Bikovski is a Tel Aviv-based designer exploring the relation of light and space. “Since I was a child, I was fascinated by Pop-up books…The excitement before turning a page, a simple pull that uncovers a whole new world. I loved how the story came to life, how the books created a fantasy world that flew off the page. The magic, the excitement, the naiveté…”

dear head light design

pop up lighting

dear head light in room

Named ‘Promising Young Designer of 2012,’ Chen’s work is presented in prominent galleries and featured in leading design publications. “The idea behind Popup Lighting was to create a permanent light fixture that would bring a magical ambiance to any space. A multi-dimensional light that would inspire the senses and ignite the imagination.”

Share on Facebook





[ By WebUrbanist in Design & Fixtures & Interiors. ]

[ WebUrbanist | Archives | Galleries | Privacy | TOS ]


WebUrbanist

 
Comments Off on Head Light: Popup Wall Lamp Has Horns that Glow in Shadows

Posted in Creativity

 

Retro Nikon ‘DF’ emerges from the shadows

01 Nov

DF-shadow.png

The much rumored retro-styled full frame camera from Nikon looks to be coming. The latest teaser video from Nikon offers the clearest view of what the camera will look like, with close-up shots of the camera’s side, back, and top-plate (including traditional shutter speed dial). The fifth of November looks like it could be memorable for more than just our UK audience. Watch video, see screen shots

News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

 
Comments Off on Retro Nikon ‘DF’ emerges from the shadows

Posted in Uncategorized

 

Shadows: Weekly Photography Challenge

19 Oct

Earlier today we published our post – 25 Images with Shadows – which we hope gave you a little inspiration.

Shadow images
Now it is your turn.

We’d love you to to grab your camera and over the next week look for some shadow images because that’s the theme for this weeks challenge. Take a shadow photo and then share it with us as outlined below.

Once you’ve taken your ‘Shadow’ shots we’d love to see them in comments below. Simply upload your shot into the comment field (look for the little camera icon in the Disqus comments section as pictured below) and they’ll get embedded for us all to see or if you’d prefer upload them to your favourite photo sharing site and leave the link to them.

If you tag your photos on Flickr, Instagram, Twitter or other sites with Tagging tag them as #DPSPINK to help others find them. Linking back to this page might also help others know what you’re doing so that they can share in the fun.

Also – don’t forget to check out some of the great shots posted in last weeks Pink challenge – there were some great shots submitted.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Shadows: Weekly Photography Challenge

The post Shadows: Weekly Photography Challenge by Darren Rowse appeared first on Digital Photography School.


Digital Photography School

 
Comments Off on Shadows: Weekly Photography Challenge

Posted in Photography