My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

“Shadow Play”

Grip of the Past

Shadows for me, as a photographer, create depth and contrast in a composition. You can take it to an extreme level and show a very graphic picture, or go the other way to just bring out subtle effects. Shadows can bring your eye into the photo and almost guide it around the shot. I print and see very graphically, so shadows can present both the “Ying and Yang” to my photographs. This delicate balance of seeing and creating, can sometimes turn a viewer off or encourage them to explore the picture further. I like to think it stimulates them but I am not that naive to feel this will happen with all of my pictures.

Shadows can play with our emotions and bring a focus to the photograph which may help explain the story it evokes. This scenario is very important to me as I develop each photograph separately. A guided approach helps me see if this is truly what I want to present to the viewer.

Our photography club held a competition entitled “Shadows” and the format was color. The word color stood out loud and clear to me, almost as a challenge, to come up with an idea that would show this form in not just the black and white versions that I normally shoot. After many tries, I started to find what I was looking for in both subject and graphic quality. I still find myself very attracted to the graphical side but found out that by creating a color form for my shadows, it brought out another side, and not just black and white.

The shadows in these compositions I do feel compliment the photograph. They play with each other as well as challenge the viewer to open up and play right along side of it. Take the challenge… shadows are not just child’s play.


13 responses

  1. I agree 100%. Shadows do create more depth and drama to the subject at hand. My favorite is that of my son as he was playing by the beach. His shadow looked taller as if making a prediction of how tall he’s going to be years from now. Wonderful post!


    July 4, 2012 at 5:31 am

  2. Absolutely veined with glorious!!!


    March 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

  3. denisebushphoto

    These are great Mike. The wooden steps, hockey player and window are my 3 favorites.


    March 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  4. Iwalani

    Another beautiful set, Mike. If the sun ever peeks through here in the Northwest, I may have to chase a shadow or two myself.


    March 21, 2012 at 8:35 pm

  5. What inspirations lie in the hearts of all of us? The shadows know…


    March 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm

  6. Great inspirations for us shadow-lovers to get from this nice shadow series. I pick 3,10 and 12 as three very different favorites….


    March 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm

  7. John Costello

    Great work. That one of the hockey player would have been nice for the “suspended in air” category. As for that one of the window – how did you get into my house??


    March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

  8. Great shadows! The long shadows with the trees in the background are especially effective. One thing I love about the beach is all the interesting shadows involving sand, water, and plants. Not to say that snow shadows can’t be that interesting as well, but I see snow shadows more often 🙂


    March 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm

  9. Fantastic photos Mike! What camera do you shoot with?


    March 19, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    • Thanks Jo… I shoot with a Canon 7d and 5d mk2.


      March 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm

  10. Linda Kamholz

    A great exploration of a camera club theme, Mike. It’s a good example of what we all should be doing!


    March 19, 2012 at 11:47 am

  11. Mike, your work is powerful!


    March 19, 2012 at 10:51 am

  12. Good stuff Mike. I like the stairs to the beach. Just a peek in the corner of the frame to where the viewer should eventually land.


    March 19, 2012 at 8:05 am

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