Sometimes we are so busy looking at the light we forget about the equally important shadows. Shadows create contrast and depth. Shadows can be used subtly and for accentuating details. They do not need to be necessarily the focal point of the image but instead can add balance or dimension.  Some photographers experiment with patterns and deliberately create shadows by using props, while others are seeking the qualities of existing shadows.

Firstly, you need to decide if you want the shadow to be the focal point of the image or if you would like it to be a subtly accentuate of the subject.

Then you have to consider the quality of your light. Think of the sun in the middle of the day when it is high and direct or on a cloudy day when the clouds act like a diffuser.

Harsh direct light creates deep shadows with hard defined edges like mid-day sun. Diffused light will be softer and not as crisp.

You might want to create the shadow to direct the viewer to a particular detail or provoke an emotion or create an abstract shadow which is used often in architecture.

Please be mindful that a shadow is not a silhouette.

Tips and Inspirations:

Use spot metering on your camera to be able to measure the area that is highlighted to create a more dynamic image.

Hunting Shadows
Bill Brandt Shadow and Light
Joey L Photographing shadow and light

The winner of this Challenge is

The Winner for the February 2018 Challenge “Shadows” is Alina Maria Bota

LIoP Comment:
We love this still life using Shadows to create an emotive image. It is such a unique choice of subject and looking at composition and light creates a surrealistic undertone that reminds us of the classics like Man Ray. Choosing to keep it in black and white creates a super contrast and pattern. The upside down mirror and the off-centered lines add to the tension in the image as gives it a human element rather than being styled.

Congratulations Alina- A £150 voucher to spend on one of LIoP courses is coming your way.

Submission Deadline

28 February 2018, 23:59 UK Time

  • All submitted images will be assessed on the basis of creativity, technical quality and coherence with the theme
  • Save your image as JPG with 3000px on the long edge and highest image quality setting
  • Submit a short 3 line text you want to publish together with your image that describes you idea
  • Submission is limited to one image per photographer and monthly challenge
  • You must sign up for the LIoP Challenge in order to submit your image
  • Submission deadline is 28 February 2018, 23:59 UK Time.