More times than not when I see a shadow in my photo, it’s a mistake. It means that I focused so much on one part of the picture, I forgot to look at the whole. Do you know that feeling? The shock of finding your shadow self lurking in the frame?
Of course, there are times when shadows are deliberate. The play on light and dark can emphasize a shape and provide visual interest. Shadows can capture a feeling or add atmosphere to a scene. Just think about all the film noir and Humphrey Bogart movies you’ve ever seen.
For this week’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge I ask you to share photos that feature SHADOWS.
The photos can be anecdotal, accidental, artistic, abstract or profound. Monochrome or color, archival or new, it’s your choice.
I automatically think of black & white when I think of shadows for atmospheric effect. Like these pictures taken at the Syonan exhibit in Singapore’s National museum. Syonan was the name for Singapore when it was occupied by the Empire of Japan in World War II. These were dark days in Singapore’s history; thousands of people died or suffered during the occupation which lasted from 1942 to 1945. The exhibits here were designed for somber effect, using a lot of special lighting to cast deep and evocative shadows.
In another example, shadows against glass provide interesting visual distortions. Combined with this building’s arched overhang, a mundane architectural feature looks surreal and otherworldy.
Shadows can play a part in color photos too. External fire escapes on old buildings are a distinctive feature of San Francisco’s Chinatown. The escapes are relics from the mid-19th century, when tenement buildings were mandated to provide emergency fire exits. On sunny days, the wrought iron slats provide visual contrast to street scenes, while almost immediately identifying them as US based Chinatowns.
Structures and exhibits aside, shadows can also provide interesting human photos. They can augment a subject, like this picture of a modern day Miss Haversham taking a selfie. OR they can tell a story, like a child’s favorite activity on a hot summer day.
I look forward to seeing your photos of SHADOWS. Feel free to use your photo archives or take new pictures when you’re out and about.
Remember to include a link to this post and a comment below, so that I and others can find your response.
As well, a reminder that every month, we will feature one guest post on the Friendly Friday Challenge. If you’re interested in writing an article for a future spot, please contact Amanda or me a directly.
This week’s challenge for SHADOWS goes up to Thursday, after which Amanda at StPA will post a new Friendly Friday challenge.
Until then, have fun with this challenge! – Sandy
Toronto, Canada. July 2020