Indy Photo Coach 11:39pm, 6 September 2012
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Creative use of shadows can do many different things to your photographs. They can obscure a busy background, add drama to a portrait or create a surrealistic effect.

Use of shadows in photographs is best done when there is a high level of contrast on the subject, otherwise it might just look like a poorly exposed image rather than a deliberate effect.

Some things to note about modern digital cameras that can make capturing good shadows somewhat tricky:

1) Most modern cameras now have "dynamic lighting" functions that by default attempt to brighten dark areas of an image to produce a more even exposure.

2) Digital "noise" is most prominently visible in dark portions of an image.

To compensate for this do the following:

1) Turn off your cameras "dynamic lighting" function if present

2) Set the ISO to it's lowest setting to minimize noise

3) Use a bright focused source of light (e.g. flash with a snoot, light from a doorway) and spot meter the lightest area


Take an image using shadows either for dramatic effect or to draw attention to the subject of your photograph and post the results here.

Written by Trevor Warren
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