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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

Challenge:

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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