Exercise Title: Photographing Shadows
Purpose: In photography there is a lot of talk about photographing the light, however, that does mean we forget the opposite side of that equation which are the shadows. If we can start to see shadows then by definition we are also seeing the contrasting light.
Method: While out and about with the camera look for shadows and come up with 10 images where shadows are the main feature. It doesn’t matter if it is a bright day with very contrasty shadows or a dull day with indistinct ones, the key point is to look for them and make them the subject of the image. In some images you may want to include the cause of the shadow and others not to let the imagination fill in the blanks. Take lots of images with the intention of finding 10 you want to share with me.
Analyse: What works best for you? Is is the soft shadows or the harsh ones, do you prefer the images in colour or black and white, is it better to have the cause of the shadow in the image, or maybe just a hint of it.
You should be very happy with the results of this exercise as there are a lot of great and a couple of exceptional images in here. Always worth taking the camera out on a bright sunny day and looking for those shadows, sometimes they tell even more of a story than the object itself :-)
One thing to be very aware of though is exposure when taking the image. If you get it right in camera you will have a much better quality image than you do when bringing the exposure up in post production. The reason for this is that if there is none or very little detail in the shadows of your image because it is underexposed then your software will try and introduce texture which invariably will just look nasty. It is better to take an image at ISO1600 and expose it correctly than it is to take an image at ISO400 which is two stops underexposed and then try and lift that exposure in post production. I think this may well be the basis of your next assignment so I’ll have a think about how best for you to tackle this one and get some more technical understanding under your hat :-)