“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.” ~ Sylvia Plath

Week 23 of this year’s Photo Inspiration Challenge was titled “Shadow”.

My sister, a visual artist, often says that shading and shadowing (if that’s even a word…) is one of the biggest challenges to sketching or drawing portraits. And it makes sense because the shadows of a scene – any scene, are what gives it its mood, its intensity, and really can tell us more about the story than almost any other aspect.

In photography, we spend so much time trying to avoid the shadows because they can distort an image or distract from the story, but it’s important to remember that sometimes they can actually help. By using shadows effectively, an artist (be they portrait or photographer) can tell you that the person in their art is either happy (for lack of a better word), or rather ‘light’, or dark and solemn. In a landscape it can give you a sense of time in the day and perhaps an accompanying mood. As just a couple of examples.

While shadows accomplish all of this in either colour or black and white, I think its the black and white photography that can really add drama to the shot. Deepen the shadows and brighten the lights without adjusting the scene. You can tell your story without having to be too direct or obvious about it.

Also, for someone like me with black and white pets …. it just makes for a great shot!

“The most colorful thing in the world is black and white, it contains all colors and at the same time excludes all.” ~ Vikrmn

DSC_0105 DSC_0018But wanting to get away from just the candid shots I was lucky to grab in the right light, I wanted to experiment with creating shadows and their effects. Now I’m not really one for modern or contemporary art, however in my efforts to not run to the woods to seek out the ever present (and pretty easy) shadows there, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. It was impressive what some artists can do with shadow to create some really dramatic art. While the next two photos I have to add to this submission aren’t exactly up to par with most of what I found on Pinterest, it gave me a place to start. An idea. Or really, lack there of. I sat in my kitchen and looked around at all of the every day objects I had lying around looking for something that would give an interesting shadow, or interesting objects that I could create shadow with.

DSC_0644 DSC_0680

So even in photography, shadow isn’t always a bad thing!

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