A lack of light.
Where there is light, there are also shadows, and whereas we usually concentrate our attention on the light and the way it illuminates a subject, it’s the shadows that give an object its form, that extra dimension.
But just as there are different types of light, so it is with shadows too, hard shadows, soft shadows, strong shadows etc., without shadow there is no texture.
Shadows accentuate detail, they create mood, but they can also be the subject of a photograph itself.
And it’s an old design principle: If you can’t hide it – make a feature of it.
Some examples illustrating the technique
Tips for when on location
- Shoot the shadow as the subject
- Look for silhouettes, although technically not shadows they are still dark vs. light, subjects that are backlit.
- Use shadows to add depth and shape to an image.
- Shadows create mood, so be generous with them.
© Andrew James Kirkwood – 2017