Until today I’d known my Sony A7II could handle the shadow world, but I could never bring myself to push it. Mainly out of fear, no actually entirely from fear of losing the image. Recently I had the absolute pleasure of working at Rebecca Bathory’s place I decided to test the range once and for all.
The “flat design” style drop shadows seem to have become a big thing lately. Whenever I check out my YouTube feed, I always seem to see a new tutorial on how to do it in Photoshop, Illustrator or After Effects. It’s easy to see why. It’s a pleasing look. It complements a flat design with a sense of realism, depth and context. This is the first time, though, that I’ve seen it done for real, with actual objects.
In this video from the Cinematography Database, Matt Workman teams up with Greg from Lens Pro To Go to show us how it’s done. Starting off with a simple overhead setup, they take us through the entire process. They break the process down into individual steps and build it up one light at a time. This lets you see exactly how each light is contributing to the scene.
If it wasn’t for light, there wouldn’t be such thing as photography, right? Yes! For some – light is one of the most important ingredients of the photo. You can count me in. Definitely, I am one of them. Please note that all my tips are based on my street/urban/fine art photos and most of them are evening and night shots. This is not an ultimate tutorial as this subject is wide as an ocean.
Shadows are often the hardest part when creating composites. In my workshop I often get the question can’t we just take a copy of the model, duplicate that, make it black and use that as a shadow. My answer was always ‘no’ till recently. I am gonna show you a way how you can (often) use your model as a shadow.
[editor’s note: we are huge fans of Aad Sommeling. Aad is big about sharing and we are quite happy that he allowed us to share this primer, if you want to get deeper into the world of compositing, there are also a few workshops he made that will help you get started]
Results from the Shadows Assignment, in which you were asked to include shadows in your photographs.
All images submitted were great and I had a hard time choosing the top four. I got those four as they each reflect a different technique of using shadows.
Did you know that shadows can work for you? In my recent article I described eight ways that you can use to enhance your photo. In that article I described 8 situations where you as a photographer can gain from the presence of shadows.
Now, it’s time to pay the debt I left at the end of the article and talk a bit about where you can find shadows. (A Valentine for my Wife by Ella’s Dad)
The shadow assignment pictures are starting to pour in – you are doing a great job. If you want your image to appear on the search tag it with DIYP and shadow. You can see the great work already coming in on this link.
Before we talk about where to find shadows, it is important that we discuss about the nature of shadows and where they are coming from.
Shadows are not an “is” but an “is not”. They are not light, but lack there of. If a light source is projecting light onto a surface you will get a nice lighted surface. If for some reason this light is obstructed – TADAM! Shadow it is. So far for kinder garden stuff. And now, on with photography and lighting stuff. [Read more…]
Usually on this site I describe ways to deal with shadows in pictures. This is because shadows can distract the viewer from the main subject. Shadows also often create high contrast that gives the sensor some hard time. In past articles I’ve shown how to eliminate the shadows, minimize them, diffuse them and even bounce to get rid of them.
But what if? What if there was a way to turn the shadow into a friend, to make the shadow so distracting, it will become the subject itself?
In this article I’ve decided to face the enemy and make it a friend. Here are eight ways to get a great shadow picture: [Read more…]