Readers Photo Challenge: Beyond a shadow of a doubt

The current Readers Photo Challenge assignment is “shadows.” While a few had some trouble with the concept, the pictures were to showcase shadows and not just contain them, others stepped out of the shadows and let their work shine beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Fifteen readers sent in seventy seven photos. Here are some of the top picks.

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With a Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera, Oran Schwinn of Stockton captured the light coming through the blinds on an east-facing window and created shadows on the blinds of a south-facing window at his home. The horizontal lines of the south blinds are complimented by the diagonal bars of light and dark from the east window which creates and interesting pattern of lines and shades in his photo.

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The patterns of shadow in Stocktonian Steve Rapaport’s photo creates interesting patterns for the viewer’s eye to explore. With a Canon EOS 5D Mk IV DSLR camera, Rapaport captured a woman and man having lunch along the Seine River in Paris, France. The pattern of shadows from a nearby tree that emanate from the bottom of the frame and lead to the couple. Sitting income of the darkest parts of the shadow they are almost silhouetted and become a part of the shadow.

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While on a trip through the Mother Lode Gold County, Dave Skinner of Stockton came across a bike parked in front of a store in Jackson. Painted a hideous faded beige/yellow Skinner saw past the unattractive color and saw the artistic possibilities in the bike’s shadow. Using a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera, he captured the bikes elegant shadow/silhouette on the pavement then later converted it to black and white.


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Susan Scott of Stockton to a picture of a Lilly while on a walk along March Lane in Stockton. With her Canon EOS Rebel DSLR camera she photographed the bright yellow flower in a delicate dance with its own crisp shadow in the pavement.

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Shooting a shadow self-portrait was a popular subject with many of the people who entered the challenge, but Ken Class of Lodi put a little different twist on his. While flying back to Sacramento International Airport from a trip to Manzanita Beach on the north Oregon coast, Class used his Apple iPhone 7 Plus to photograph the plane’s shadow on the on the ground as it made its final approach to the airport.

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Aisha Ahmed of Stockton was walking with her 2-year-old son Aayan Khan near San Joaquin Street and Weber Avenue in downtown Stockton. With her Apple iPhone 6 she photographed their shadows as they held hands to make a touching mother and child portrait.

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Lillian McDonell of Stockton submitted a double portrait for her shadow picture. She used an Apple iPhone 6 to photograph her 7-year-old grandson Leo Emigh capturing his and her own shadow while visiting him at his school in Roseville.

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Donn Sperry of Stockton attempted to recreate a photo that he took years earlier of some balloons next to his kitchen for one of his kids’ birthday parties. For his newer version, he used a Sony Alpha NEX-7 mirrorless digital camera to photograph balloons as the light that came through the window blinds created subtle patterns of light and shadow on them.

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Carrie Walker of Stockton used an Apple iPad to photograph her cat Panda as the late afternoon setting sun made the pet’s long shadow look like Batman.

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Teresa Mahnken of Morada sent in a great example of a minimalistic photo. She used a Nikon D7200 DSLR camera to photograph a dandelion growing from an intersection of 2 lines in some concrete near her home. The flower’s long, free-form shadow created by an early morning sun stands stark contrast to the strain, rigid lines as does the flower’s color against the colors concrete.

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All of the photos sent in can be seen in an online photo gallery at recordnet.com. Stay tuned for a new challenge assignment on June 12.

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  • 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
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