Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Shadow Shooting

I went out to take pictures several weeks back and it turned out to be one of those days that nothing seemed to click. Maybe it was where I was looking, maybe it was my attitude, or maybe the light was just a bit harsh. As I was walking along with the sense that this was not going to be one of my more productive outings, some shadows on a concrete wall caught my attention. The interplay of the shadows with the actual tree, with the neutral color of the concrete wall, and with the cracks of the wall somehow seemed interesting, though I really wasn’t quite sure why.

City Trees
Copyright Howard Grill

When nothing seems to want to happen, it is probably a good idea to follow the slightest premonition, so I spent some time photographing the shadows against the wall.

It strikes me that photographing shadows is also a good idea for when the light just isn’t so great. Since a bit of contrast can be useful for accentuating shadows, photographing them can be accomplished in light that is somewhat harsh. If necessary, the contrast and color temperature of the image can then be adjusted in Photoshop.

As I reviewed the images I took that day, I found something appealing in the idea of images of ‘phantom’ shadows with perhaps just a touch of the ‘real’ object in the picture as well. Now that I have this idea, I think I can do better than that I know what to look for.