It takes light to create a photo.  Without the shadows you cannot see the light.  This month, we challenged our Lowepro Storytellers to show us how shadows can impact an image.  Take a moment and walk with us into the shadows.

Photo by Shawn Talbot

Undulating shadows captured during sunset on the Mojave Desert in California.

f/11, 1/160 second, ISO 50, 135mm lens on Canon 5D M3

Shawn Talbot

Photo by Sarah Dawson

Shadows

Sarah Dawson

Photo by Rachid Dahnoun

Playing with shadows in Death Valley National Park at sunrise on the famous Racetrack many years ago.

Camera Info:
Nikon D200
Tokina 12-24mm f/4
ISO 100
f/22
1/30 sec

Rachid Dahnoun

Photo by Willow McDonough

I love shooting portraits, especially close-ups. In the spirit of Halloween I played around with shadows to create a little mystery and disguise for this natural beauty.

Canon 60D
50mm
ISO 100
f/2
1/8000

– Willow McDonough

Photo by Michael Hanson

The yellow glow and layers of the Wind River watershed in Washington as seen from Dog Mountain. This area spent much of the summer in a thick haze of smoke from the nearby Eagle Creek fire. As the fall slips towards winter, it’s nice to welcome back a few days of visibility to the Columbia Gorge.

Michael Hanson

Photo by Matt Clark

The attack between light and shadow.

Canon 5D Mark 3
70-200mm 2.8f
1250
4.0f
200ISO

Matt Clark

Photo by Luke Pearsall

Shadows in my humble opinion are one of the most important pieces in creating a dynamic and interesting photo. When I arrived at Glacier National Park in Montana for a brief overnight adventure to make some photographs I was greeted by a day that was less than ideal for creating the landscape photograph that I had always envisioned making in this place. I struggled feeling slightly defeated because the sun foiled my initial plan. What I saw off in the distance of that glacial lake was a small island completely backlit and cast in shadow. That single shadow in that single moment is what makes this entire picture work for me. Without it, the photograph would just be a picture with a lake and mountains on an overcast day.

Canon EOS 5d Mark III
Lens 24mm-105mm f/4 IS USM shot at 24mm
80.0 sec; f/22 ISO 100

Luke Pearsall

Photo by Guy Fattal

This end of day scene was captured on the Dal lake of Kashmir’s capital Srinagar. Many times in the news for its heated politics, the beauty of this region can sometime be overseen. Locals row between homes and shops on the Dal lake in what is one of the most fascinating towns on water. This unique setting creates an exceptional game of colours and shadows during sunset.

Fuji X30
F/6.4
1/210sec
ISO 400

Guy Fattal

Photo by Glenn Fajota

Intimidation at its finest and youngest. I had the player stand in right spot to create enough shadow to give the sense of power. Right after we took this photo, the player burst into laughing, as any kid would do when told to ‘act mean’.

Glenn Fajota

Photo by Carrie Swails

Sometimes shadows can make for the most interesting and moody light to capture emotions and moments. I’ve found myself frequently embracing this moodier light the past couple years. Instead of always looking for the bright and airy angle, the shadows often highlight moments better than anything else!

Carrie Swails

Photo by Frank Lopez

I can honestly say I’ve lived in a shadow, but in this case it was a shadow of the moon. Witnessing a total eclipse directly in the path of totality was something that will stay with me forever.  The suns light is blocked by the moon causing it to appear to be almost night, essentially casting a giant shadow of the moon on to earth. Here is the photo I capture from inside that shadow.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: Nikon 70-200mm @200
Setting: F/3.5, ISO 200, 1/80 Shutter speed. With a Solar Eclipse ND filter attached.

Frank Lopez

Photo by Viktoria Haack

Sometimes the shadows are just as important as the light! In this image the dark, shadowed areas really help provide texture to the shot.

Nikon D4
Nikkor 70-200 2.8 lens
Hand held at 150mm
ISO 320
F11
1/5000

Viktoria Haack

Photo by Tara Shupe

During my sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal, I found myself obsessing over the unique shadows the different structures were creating. It’s amazing how light can help shape a scene and even try to over “shadow” even the Taj Mahal at sunrise!

Nikon D810
35mm

Tara Shupe

Photo by Ryan Struck

Shadows are meant to be embraced, paired them with beautiful light and you have the formula for a great image. There’s something to be said about flat images too. Where neither light nor shadow dominates the photo.  In these instances is where composition shines.

Ryan Struck

Photo by Mitch Wu

I’m a master of fright, and a deeeemon of light!

Photography is all about light.  But we often need shadows to appreciate that light.  Shadows are often used to set a tone or mood, often ominous or dark.  Shadows can be scene stealers, or they can be supporting characters.  The shadowy darkness of this particular image helps set the mood, tell the story, and gives us a sense of place and time.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 135mm f/2L @ f/2
ISO 1000
1/500 sec
Fog created with Atmosphere Aerosol

Mitch Wu

Photo by Kristian Bogner

This image of Takakka Falls was created completely as an in-camera HDR demonstrating some amazing dynamic range on my new Nikon D850, capturing the warm alpenglow and outstanding detail in the shadows below.

Kristian Bogner

Photo by Karl

Last days of summer at Donner Lake!

Sony A9
12-24mm G lens

Karl

Photo by Jeff Hinman

It’s so surreal how an shadow can add that dramatic touch to a photo. It’s crazy how we start with shadows and end the day with shadows, just in a different form

Jeff Hinman

Photo by Josephy Roybal

Photography being light at its most basic level has always had me interested in its opposite: shadows. I am currently shooting in Iceland and loving all this country has to offer, it’s incredible! I’d been driving and hiking for days looking for dark/light scenes. When I saw this scene with these white iconic Icelandic horses and stark shadows silhouetting the Vestrahorn unfold before me I knew this was the drama I’ve been looking for in the frame.

Nikon D600
Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-6 @ 130mm
ISO 800 – high ISO used to increase cameras sensitivity to light while hand holding.
f/11
Shutter: 1/1250 second to maintain sharpness due to hand-holding the camera, no tripod.

Josephy Roybal

Photo by John Leong

City shadows.

John Leong

Photo by Gregg Jaden

Shadows direct our eye, make us see what is necessary or can be used to distinguish darkness or light. The simplicity of a shadow can reveal parts of a story that otherwise would go unnoticed.

Gregg Jaden

Photo by Daisy Gilardini

A group of Rockhopper penguins is hopping on the beach coming back from a day fishing at sea. The low light of the evening capture the beautiful long shadows on the white beach.

Saunders Islands – Falklands

Daisy Gilardini

Photo by Craig Pulsifer

The world of shadows is a wonderful place, where the unseen is as much a part of an image as what is seen; much like the way stops and rests within music are at least as important as the notes being played.

Craig Pulsifer

Photo by Dave & Quin Cheung

Quin ran up to the fourth level in the gorgeous Studio Bell building in our home town of Calgary to get this shot. To create the shadow, Quin had me hide just out of frame behind the groom with my flash raised high on a monopod. I love the composition, colours, shadows and textures that make this image so striking.

Dave & Quin Cheung

Aurora Lampson

About Aurora Lampson

Aurora is the marketing relations and content specialist at Lowepro. When not in the office Aurora is a professional commercial and portrait photographer.

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