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.