Though not a popular avenue of photography, shadows can be a great way to improve the contrast, balance, and/or texture in your image without much effort. All you need is a properly placed light source and something to strategically block it. Here are our top 5 tips to improve the quality of the shadow and to inspire your shadow shots.
Difference between shadow and silhouette?
Silhouettes and shadows both manipulate light to create dramatic images but in different ways. In a silhouette, the light covers an object, turning the object into a dark outline against a lighter background. A shadow is created when something stands in front a light source and causes the light to be cast behind or in front of it.
5. Use Harsh Light
The best shadows are captured in harsh light so take photos on super sunny days. This kind of contrast and strong light will create the best shadows in your images and allow for a more dramatic photo. This makes Golden Hour the perfect time to shoot because it’s when the potential for shadows is at its highest.
Photo by @juliettavendetta
4. Look for Patterns
Look at things that have interesting patterns and visualize where the light will hit them. These kinds of patterns will create a focal point in your photos and make them more appealing to look at.
Photo by @lucafiald
3. Any Light Source Will Work
You don’t necessarily need a sunny day to create the perfect shadow portrait. These can be achieved at night with artificial light. Night shadow shots can even invite a more moody and dramatic tone than a photo shot during the day.
Photo by StockSnap
2. Use Reflections
Did it just rain? Puddles can enhance the depth and drama of the shadows by repeating what is already evident in the image. Even reflections on buildings can add depth to the image and also add some intrigue and appeal.
Photo by @weldyescalante
1. Use Colour
Not every shadow has to be black. This depends on your composition and what your light is hitting. Use translucent and transparent objects to hit the light. This was create a coloured shadow.
Photo by Matteo Busa