Embracing Shadows in Photography - A Lesson for Light and Life

Embracing Shadows in Photography – A Lesson for Light and Life

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In this fantastic video by Sean Tucker, he takes a look at the ways shadows can be used in photography to create mystery and depth.

 

Shadows in film

Throughout this process, he examines the work of cinematographer, Roger Deakins, and looks at stills from his films Skyfall, Bladerunner, Jarhead and Unbroken. Using these amazing film stills, he analyses how the Deakins uses color, backlight, selective lighting and loads of deep shadows to create mystery and mood in his images.

According to Sean, many photographers say that using film as a point-of-reference for this type of photography is difficult because the same type of images cannot be captured in stills. As photographers, we simply don’t have access to million-dollar lighting set-ups and set design.

Photographers who tell stories through shadows

So, as part of this perspective, Sean also looks at photographers, Constantine Manos, Ray Metzker, Saul Leiter, and Trent Parke who manage to capture shadows in creative ways. These photographers manage to do this through the use of natural light and in the genres of landscape, portraiture and street photography. Through these images, they sculpt light, create character and tell stories with an interesting narrative. These images draw the viewer in and tell richer stories.

In the video, Sean also discusses the limitations of cameras to see the full dynamic range of the eye. He shows us exactly how this theory works with our camera through a diagrammatic presentation. A helpful tool for those wanting to understand dynamic range.

You may also find the following articles helpful:

Add Impact to Your Photos by Including Shadows

5 Tips for Mastering Shadows in Your Photography

How to Use Shadow and Contrast to Create Dramatic Images

24 Dark and Mysterious Shadow Images

25 Shadow Images to Inspire You

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Caz Nowaczyk lives in Wollongong, Australia and has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, and designer in her business, Exposure Arts and Media, for 15 years. Her background extends to Digital Content Management for radio, and Editorial Design for the news industry. In her spare time, she composes music as Dreamgirl and the Motorist. Since the age of 12, she knew she would be a photographer - the other stuff came as a surprise!

  • Tom Cooper

    I’ve been following Sean Tucker’s YouTube channel for years. A very thoughtful, methodical, and thorough treatment of every topic he touches.

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