Shadowplay

DanOstergren

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My experimentation with light and shadow continues! I read in a book that in order to create interesting light one must also create interesting shadows. Today I focused on using shadows for texture and to add drama to portraits. There are a few aspects I feel I could have done better with, but overall I like the results. Better yet, these photos needed almost no post-processing.

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ShooterJ

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Interesting set of photos.. I kind of like these, actually. I know a lot of people who HATE shadows across the face in a photo... but this makes me think of walking down old dirt roads where I grew up, the kind that were covered by tree canopy like an archway over the road. That dappled mix of light/shade was always pleasant. I'm sure there'll be mixed feelings on them, but that can be said of every photograph ever taken. :)

The second photo DOES have kind of a "horror movie" feel to it. How many cinematic moments had the blonde being watched through the bushes? LOL (Sorry, I had to slip that reference in)


Nice work. :)
 

Studio7Four

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I like where you're going with your experimentation, and for the most part I think it works in these. Shadowing like this may not make for great "portraits" but that doesn't mean they can't be great story-telling images.

The nitpick I have is to watch where the shadows are falling (and where they're not). For example, in the second shot I like the shadows falling on her face, but by leaving her white blouse largely unshadowed you've created a bright spot which pulls the eye there. Similarly, the face in the third shot is too much in flat shadow, IMHO.
 
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DanOstergren

DanOstergren

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I like where you're going with your experimentation, and for the most part I think it works in these. Shadowing like this may not make for great "portraits" but that doesn't mean they can't be great story-telling images.

The nitpick I have is to watch where the shadows are falling (and where they're not). For example, in the second shot I like the shadows falling on her face, but by leaving her white blouse largely unshadowed you've created a bright spot which pulls the eye there. Similarly, the face in the third shot is too much in flat shadow, IMHO.
Thank you for the feedback! I agree, in hindsight I could have been a little more strategic with the placement of light and shadows. That being said, in those particular shots there are things that I like about the placement. In the second shot I feel that it works well as a fashion shot, as the lighting makes the blouse the hero of the shot. In the third shot I feel that the light frames the face and compliments it, and the fact that it's in shadow mixed with her expression gives it a mysterious look to me. I usually try to have light fall on the face instead of shadow, so I really like the fact that it's something different from what I'm comfortable with or used to.
 

kathyt

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I do like #3, but I think the others are a bit too distracting with the shadows.
 
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DanOstergren

DanOstergren

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Thanks for all of the feedback. I find that I really love dappled light effect, so I'm going to experiment more with it and hope that I improve. I love the creative opportunities it gives. For example, in the second image I love that the placement and shape of the shadows look like a veil covering her face. I really want to keep playing with this concept.
 

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