Friday, May 21, 2010

Exploring with a Camera: Shadow Portraits

Today I thought I would post of fun exploration idea that I've played around with a few times. Finding a great "shadow portrait" opportunity like this one requires a few things:
1. Sunshine or a direct light source that throws shadows. OK, obvious. :)
2. A wide open enough surface that the shadows are recognizable.
3. Noticing the shadow.
4. Deciding on composition: Angle to capture the shadow to get the "portrait" of your subject, how much of the background to use to "frame" your portrait, etc.

You can do this with any object, it doesn't have to be people. The thing I like about these shadow portraits of our family is that they are all three of us together (since I don't turn my camera over to strangers, it's hard to get a family photo all together) and that they are also of the place we are at. It puts us, in that place, in a unique way.

The first photo was in Riomaggiore, in the Cinque Terre last weekend. The photo below... well, it should be obvious.
Play around this weekend and take some shadow portraits if you have time. Or just notice the shadows around you, that is interesting in itself!


  1. What great photos! I have done a few photos of my own shadow and it is always a surprise to see how it comes out.


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