Quick tips: Photographing shadows

Shadows can perform a powerful role in compositions when used carefully. Image by Tracy Calder Amateur Photographer

In today's Quick Tips, we look at how to photographing shadows


We all know that shadows occur when an object comes between rays of light and a surface, but few of us stop to consider the vast creative potential of this everyday occurrence. We can use shadows to reveal form: when the sun is low, it casts long shadows across the landscape, accentuating dunes and hillocks. We can use them to add contrast, or to direct the viewer’s eyes around the frame, drawing attention to what is important and concealing areas that are less crucial.

Photographing shadows can also help us to reveal texture, and you can even make them the main subject of an image, cropping everything else out of the frame. Alternatively, you can leave a small section of the object/person creating the shadow in the composition. The possibilities are endless.