Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Shadows

The newest Readers Photo Challenge assignment is “shadows.”

Photographing shadows can pretty easy. No special equipment is required. You can shoot it with a DSLR, a point-and-shoot or a smartphone.

What is needed is a strong, unfiltered light source. For that reason a bright sunny day tends to work best. Diffused light, such as an overcast day, will create indistinct shadows. You can even photograph shadows at night for a very dramatic effect, but again, only if you have a strong light source. Back or side lighting tends to be the most effective to produce a shadow picture.

Like most any other picture the early morning, late afternoon light is the best. The low angle can create long shadows and create warmth in the surroundings.Any flat surface can be the “canvas” for your shot as long as a clean uncluttered one. A surface with too many lines or patterns can obscure event the strongest of shadows. Most often that will mean the ground beneath your feet but you also use a wall, curtains or another flat, vertical surface.

The shadows can be the main subject of your photo or it can be part of the composition or background that emphasizes or leads the viewers’ eye to the subject.

All shadows are silhouettes, but not all silhouettes are shadows. Like a silhouette, shadows are outlines made from an object or person. But a silhouette has actual physical form while a shadow is a mere shade of what makes it. That doesn’t mean that a shadow isn’t worth of being the subject in and of itself. You take a picture of just the shadow or both it and what makes it.

So get out there in the springtime sunshine and show that you don’t have to be afraid of your own (or anyone else’s) shadow.

(Note: This column will be transitioning to Tuesdays, so you’ll have a little more time to complete this assignment. The deadline will be on May 22.)

How to enter:

1. Entries can be emailed to coto@recordnet.com. Type in “Shadows” in the subject line.

2. Photos have to be shot between May 1 and May 22.

3. Entries will be limited to no more than 12 photos.

4. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera/lens you used and where it was taken (e.g.: “John Doe of Stockton. Location: Oak Park, Stockton. Canon Rebel T3 w/ 55-300mm lens”).

5. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos (e.g.: Jimmy Doe, 8, of Stockton casts a show on the sidewalk at the Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton).

6. Please feel free to include any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took the picture.

7. The deadline for submission is Tuesday, May 22. The top examples will be published on May 29 with an online gallery of all the photos on the same day.

This entry was posted in Readers Photo Challenge. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Blog Author

    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives