Assignment: Light and Shadow

Make images that explore LIGHT, SHADOW and color.
Light creates shadow and color. Shadow creates shape and form. Do you see any color cast in the shadows?
Shadows create mood and drama.

Times of day for dramatic shadow is when the sun in low in the sky. Where is the shadow falling?
Is your shadow in the scene? Is that a good or bad thing?
Can you create a shadow self portrait?

Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.  – George Eastman

Angle of Light:
Move around your subject to see how the shadow changes and falls. Take note of the direction of light and time of day.

Side Light:
* Defines form and dimension
* Creates mood
* Texture
* Exaggerates depth
* Adds drama to an image

Side light on the subject exaggerates the depth in an image by separating the subject from the background. This happens by defining the contours of your subject.

Texture is defined by shadow and angle of light:
•If the light is hitting object/subject straight on (coming from behind the camera) the object/subject will appear flat with less texture.
•If the light is hitting the object/subject from the side, at an angle, this will emphasize the texture and depth.

Quality of Light:
Hard Light is not diffused - Bright blue sky days create better light for shadows - The harder the light, the greater the contrast between light and shadow.
Soft Light is diffused - Think about cloudy, overcast days.

The Color of Light:

Golden Hour
Also known as the “magic hour,” the golden hour is the period shortly after sunrise and before sunset - 15 minutes. The sun gives off a softer, reddish-pink light.  The morning golden hour, is generally clearer than the afternoon golden hour due to reduced haze in the atmosphere. At the same time, it has a cooler undertone that can enhance the color of your photos. Do you want to get up early?
This is a great time for shooting silhouettes.

Extra Credit:
•Shoot a silhouette Image.
•You can also use this image in your technical project.
•Submit the Images in the extra credit portal within Canvas - silhouette image.
•In the comments tell me what you learned about making a silhouette.
•These must be submitted when the project is due - No Late extra credit will be accepted.
•Images must be submitted in the extra credit portal.

High Noon
Direct, downward light produced during midday or high noon creates photos that look dimensionally flat, no dramatic long shadows. Many photographers do not like this type of light. I love the contrast and color that can be seen in the subject with the harsh midday light. Just Remember, a good photographer can make an image anywhere, anytime of day because they have a voice in their images and have something to say as an artist.

Harsh sunlight also works well for shooting architecture and geometrical structures. Sharp shadows create dimension to the structure creating a dramatic look.

Afternoon and Mid-Morning
This time of day is best for general photography.  The sky casts a slightly more yellow and subtle light that enhances skin tones, reduces blown-out highlights, and eliminates harsh shadows. This may not be the best time of day for this project!

Blue Hour
Dawn, dusk, or twilight, the blue hour is the period before sunrise and after sunset. Contrast is typically low, and the lighting casts a cool pastel undertone. The direction of the sun’s rays comes from below the horizon so lighting is more subdued. The blue hour occurs only for a couple of minutes, so be ready to make your images. It is a good idea to use a tripod for long exposures with this type of light. Let the light hit the sensor to bring out the deep colors that can look so beautiful in the image.

Sunlight is absent during this time. Explore artificial light and long exposures.  Use a tripod. Where might you find shadows at night?
What could you point your car headlights at to create shadows? Could you use a flashlight?

To get the most color out of your file, explore shooting in RAW. Your DSLRs, mirrorless cameras and mobile devices can all shoot in the RAW format. With DSLR and mirrorless cameras I would set the camera up to shoot RAW and a high quality .JPG files simultaneously. If using a mobile device you can shoot through the Lightroom Mobile Camera - choose the DNG format. In the Fall 2020 Apple introduced Raw to the iPhone camera. It makes a 25 megapixel file so you will want to choose this for specific images. These files will take up a ton of your storage in the cloud and on your phone. Remember to always back up your files to an external hard drive. This will also free up space in your cloud and on your device. After you back up, delete the files from the phone and cloud.


Simplify the background to explore shadow, shape and structure.

What impact can color have on your scene? The color of light changes at different points in the day, from a warm yellow/orange to a blue and back to a golden light.

Use the light! Shadows, color of light, reflections, the intensity of light, hard or soft light, direction of light, these elements build complexity within your frame. Photographs at night still need light - use streetlights, car headlights, flashlights, illuminate your subject/content. As photographers we need light. The image needs light. Light defines the frame.

Technical or conceptual things to explore when out making images:
•What happens if you use a white balance that is different from your scene? Explore white balance presets. Shoot a scene and try each preset. What do you see happening with the color? Look at your metadata to see what your white balance was set to in your exploration.
•What time of day would you want to shoot to create long dramatic shadows?

Watch THIS VIDEO - Shadows and Light:


•Shoot a minimum of 100 images to select your 10.
    -The focus of this project is Light and Shadow. As you look for Light and shadow, take note of how you are using these elements in the frame.
•All images must be shot and conceived for this project. No old images will be accepted.
•You will choose 10 images to edit in Adobe LRMobile.
    -All images must be edited.
    -All images must be properly exposed and in focus.
    -All images must have a strong composition, cropped or straightened if needed.
    -Cloning or healing if needed.
    -Use a profile, color or black and white. Use a preset if desired.
•Create an album for those 10 edited images and submit the URL through Canvas.
    -In Share and Invite, turn on Anyone Can View.
    -In the Link Settings, turn on, Show Metadata - Show Location - Allow JPG Downloads.
•In the comments:
    -Tell me how many images you made for this project.
    -Any thought about the work including any questions you might have.
    -Tell me how you used light and shadow in the image, be specific for each image.
    -Tell me the specific edits made for each image.

-The album must stay live for one week past the semester’s end. Any deleted album will delete your grade for the project.

Technical Skills:
Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO, Focus, Composition.

To study light and shadow.
To explore the visual impact you can create using light and shadow, through an exploration of place, lighting, and depth of field.



Adam Bernard

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AdamBernard_K-ON-A-STICKAdamBernard_K-ON-A-STICK Steak-on-a- Stick, Medina County Fair, Ohio


Vincent Laforet

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Ice Skaters from Above, 2004