1. a dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.


We always associate photography with an understanding and application of light and certainly it is.

But, far too often light's counterpart is not given the attention it rightfully deserves.

It's time that shadows take center stage or at least share that stage of importance.

And no matter how used to it you tell your self you are, the feeling of cold killing metal against your skin just sucks. There is a certain ache of "oh crap now I might actually die" l, along with the raging passion for your freedom that is inescapable. But it's also wonderful in about the most terrifying way ever.Man Rays by Stefano Corso on 500px1X - by Darek Grabus #abstract #photography #blackandwhite








Create your new project page titled ShadowsNow copy and paste these steps of design process onto your new page. Do your best to thoroughly document these 7 steps on the your design process:

  1. Understand the Problem
  2. Research and Investigate
  3. Generate Possible Solutions
  4. Select AND DEVELOP Best Solution 
  5. Model and Prototype (Create)
  6. Test and Evaluate
  7. Produce



ALWAYS read the entire quest before beginning to ensure you understand ALL requirements. Remember: Process is more important than Product. Product will be unoriginal without a successful idea development (PROCESS).


Captain's Note: Shadows Epic Quest


Project Guidlines

  • Two unique compositions focusing a the use of shadow
  • Each composition will be submitted as both a color and B&W version (4 total photos)
  • Project Page documenting entire design process
    • show emphasis on your brainstorming of ideas for shadow (stage 3)
    • show emphasis on your development of a design idea into a specific design plan (stage 4)


Objectives: 1. You are to concentrate on really looking at the way light renders objects and produces shadows. Notice how shadows produce lines, shapes and forms. Think about how shadows can be an interesting compositional element in an image. Also, notice how shadows can conceal a subject or part of a scene. 2. This assignment will concentrate on tonal values and contrast as methods of creating visual emphasis.

Subject / Concept: investigate the lighting situations listed below. Think about or locate designs that take advantage of the following situations:

  • Half Lit, Half Shadow
  • Emerging Out of Darkness
  • Pattern From Shadow
  • Shadow or Silhouette as subject

Light: This assignment can be done with available continuous light or off camera flash.

1. Remember, direct light sources produce strong, crisp, hard edge shadows. Diffused light produces softer or more subtle shadows. Think about how the different light will impact the shadows in your compositional idea.
2. Of course, the sun is always a available light source but… Think about different times of day and how different positions of the sun changes shadows…or…how can you manipulate light to make shadows you WANT for your composition

While you have learned to fully embrace the importance of correct exposure or general exposure control, your new challenge is to gain an understanding of how creative use of shadow can impact a photo in a beautiful way.

Aaron Turner - 2013

Aaron Turner HRHS Student - 2013

Student Gallery

Create your new project page titled ShadowsNow copy and paste these steps of design process onto your new page. Do your best to thoroughly document these 7 steps on the your design process:

  1. Understand the Problem
  2. Research and Investigate
  3. Generate Possible Solutions
  4. Select AND DEVELOP Best Solution 
  5. Model and Prototype (Create)
  6. Test and Evaluate
  7. Produce



While there aren't nearly the rules to follow on how to use shadow as with light, you do need to understand what shadow is...

Check out to investigate further.

Further research on how shadow can impact an image will hopefully give you direction and inspiration for how you will use shadow in your compositions.


An excerpt from Rocky Mountain School  of Photography:

In the winter when the sun’s trajectory heads south in the northern hemisphere, the exact opposite phenomena occurs in the southern hemisphere creating summer. Barring any cloud cover, when the sun’s rays strike any part of the earth at a lower angle, objects on the surface are bathed in light on one side while casting long shadows on the “dark side.” An opposite but equal reaction occurs. Varying levels of contrast, yin-yang of two opposites, the interplay of shadow and light…isn’t this what photography is all about?

Usually a photographer’s eye is trained to wait and capture the “magic hour” light of twilight, when the sun is either just above or slightly below the horizon and baths subjects in golden light including clouds. Where are the shadows at this time of day? What subject matter is bathed in light and which is in shadow? People? Mountain majesty? Forests? Single sticks in the sand? Low or high, near or far, where can you place shadow in your images for effect? 

Of course, artificial light is still light and with it too shadows will be created. Maybe your inspired to go outside at night in the snow and use flashlights, headlamps or even a camera flash to control the shadows of familiar objects. A simple yet complex, leafless tree in the day can be transformed into a living, moving, menacing night creature. Intersecting or overlapping light sources can create a dance all of your own making. You’re the conductor of your own light orchestra using shadows as your dancers. Indoor shadows can be just as just as dramatic using the most mundane of household subjects. A lamp becomes your setting sun and the table setting, your landscape.

“Play” is an appropriate term to use here. Play with your shadows as would a child chasing a balloon. Use shadow and light as your playthings and see what kind of magic your imagination can conjure up. What could hurt? Well, maybe an unfortunate direct glimpse at the sun might not be advantageous especially for a photographer, so be careful out there! We wait with baited breath to view the work you create using shadows as your intent to photograph.



  • Shoot in Camera RAW.
  • Shoot in Manual Shooting Mode (preferably not Priority unless you use Exposure Compensation).
  • Avoid Motion Blur
  • When using hand held camera, use 1/60 or faster.
  • Use tripod or equivalent at slower shutter speeds.
  • Use appropriate light metering mode if you can’t meter off gray card.
  • Shoot a minimum of 4 unique scenes using different types of shadows.
  • A scene can be based on changing point of view, location, angle, changing lighting situation, changing composition, etc.
  • Basically, there should be variety on your contact/proof sheet.
  • You might want to consider bracketing your exposures.
  • You will make a color and a grayscale version of each final image.
  • Develop images in Camera RAW: White Balance, Values, Color
  • Fill out self-evaluation form prior to crit. (copies available in magazine rack on wall by books)


Submit Final images to server for Printing


Complete the checklist and paste a copy of your project page URL address below for completion.



To claim Mastery, confirm that you have completed  everything on this list and paste a copied URL link to your project page in the space provided. Once fully finished hang both prints on display wall.



Well done Photographer.

Be ready to present your photos for critiques soon.

If one of your photos is DISPLAYED in the hall or in a public art show
claim your well-deserved Bonus Loot here: 


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