Shadows – Light and Shadow

When I started the Shadows project my first photos were taken in such a way that they were deliberately underexposed, usually to -2. This gave a lot of darker areas but wasn’t really dealing with shadow.

Eventually I figured out that I needed to be focusing on the highlights and ensure that they were a exposed as a mid-tone which then caused the shadows to become darker. My initial photos were taken during the evening and either involved bright areas of sky for the highlights or something that was lit by artificial light which was then used to set the exposure level. This allowed shadows to become darker more naturally.

Finding locations and things to take photographs of was a lot more of a challenge because of the need to have areas that were lit but also areas with shadows.

Exercise 1.6-2953
View over work

The above photograph was taken one evening after I’d been out with my family and my sister’s family for a meal. The building is where I work. The photograph was under exposed to darken the shadows.

I like the way the clouds are lit up by the sunset. I think a perfectly exposed photograph wouldn’t have quite had the same colours and I’d have needed to do a lot of editing to get a similar colour.

Exercise 1.6-2970
Kitchen window view

Again this photograph was deliberately underexposed. The subtle lighting on the fence and the lights from the neighbours house make parts of it stand out and draw the viewers eye.

Exercise 1.6-3046
Street Lamp

The image above the result of playing around one evening while sitting on my front doorstep. The street lamp kept lighting up and then going out so capturing images was a bit hit and miss sometimes.

Exercise 1.6-3051

I spotted this bright patch of sky while I was on my way out one evening. I decided to get my camera out and grab a photo. I like the way that the small chimney pots, TV aerials and vegetation stand out against the sky.

Exercise 1.6-3056
Warehouse – waiting for practice

The above photograph and the two below were taken while waiting to go into the studio for dance rehearsals. By this point I’d got my head around the idea that the objective of the exercise was to get the shadow and light correct not by underexposing the images but by using the lightmeter to expose the image so that the brightest part of it was set to be a standard exposure.

Exercise 1.6-3057
Warehouse – still waiting
Exercise 1.6-3058
Warehouse – time for practice
Exercise 1.6-3066
St John’s Church, Yeovil

I’ve taken a number of photographs of St John’s Church. It’s an easy place to get to and there are lots of interesting features, and also angles that can be used in photographs. The church has some useful lighting during the evening that gives some wonderful shadows as well as some lovely light.

Exercise 1.6-3071
St John’s Church, Yeovil


Exercise 1.6-3229
Hendford Hill bridge, Yeovil


Finally we have Hendford Hill bridge. While thinking about this exercise and where I could take photographs this place was one of the ones that quickly sprung to mind. Both images have been edited so that the blacks have been darkened and the whites have been lightened. I would have loved to get the same effect without editing, and that could have been done at noon on a sunny day. Unfortunately the day I went to take the photographs it was overcast. To get the effect I wanted needed processing through Lightroom and Photoshop.


Exercise 1.6-3240
Hendford Hill bridge, Yeovil (reverse view)


I enjoyed this exercise. If there is one thing I’ve learned from it is that it can take a lot of thought and planning plus a great deal of timing in order to get just the shot you want.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s