Lens-Artists Challenge #198 – Light and Shadow
“Where light and shadow fall on your subject – that is the essence of expression and art through photography.”Scott Bourne
This week Patti challenges us to explore the mysteries of light and shadow. Photographers are always looking for just the right light and when it happens it’s a bit of magic. Shadow can be thought of as the absence of light, or perhaps a different quality of light. In today’s opening image I’ve featured a fountain I saw outside a hotel that shows an effective use of artificial light and shadow to highlight whale tails – a major draw for tourists in the area.
“I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself – mysterious and ever changing light with its accompanying shadows rich and full of mystery.”Edward Steichen
The image above is one of my favorites which I’ve posted before. I was with friends shooting whales in San Francisco Bay and on the walk back to our car I took a side path to shoot the bridge. As I pointed my lens into the structure I happened across a man walking under it and quickly grabbed the shot. I loved the dramatic shadows and the solitary man who added a touch of mystery to the image.
“In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.”August Sander
Never one to be outdone, Mother Nature shows us the power of her own artistry – lightning – breaking through the clouds and illuminating the late day shadows. These days photographers use sophisticated timers to photograph lightning but my image above was the result of pure patience and a once more, a bit of luck.
“The organization of light and shadow effects produce a new enrichment of vision.”Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
Again highlighting artificial light, I’ve included the image above of a ship as it passed the bright lights of Hong Kong. I loved the way the motion of the ship moving past the city turned it into something of a phantom.
“Photography is a literature of light.”Moses Oliver
My image above is an example of the “blue hour”, a special time of the evening when the light has not quite fully faded – rather the opposite end of the “golden hour” spectrum in the morning. I loved the combination of the blue hour sky, the early-on yellow lights within the homes and the red tile roofs of Dubrovnik. The image was captured from my hotel window early one evening during our visit.
“Our job is to record this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today.”Edward Abbey
I loved Edward Abbey’s quote above as I believe it truly describes the magic of photography. I’m closing today’s post with two images that are reminders some personal magic moments. Above, a favorite image of Patagonia’s majestic Torres del Paine. I felt B&W better conveyed the power of these glorious peaks. At the opposite end of the spectrum, my image below shows a simple moment of humanity – a worker taking a much-needed rest during our visit to Vietnam. In both cases, light and shadow are at play in creating a memorable moment.
Sincere thanks to Patti for the opportunity to explore the magic of light and shadow. We look forward to seeing your responses. Please remember to link them to her original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Thanks also to those who responded to my Rule of Thirds challenge last week. It was terrific seeing your thoughts and images that both followed and broke the “rule”. We hope you’ll be with us next week when Ann-Christine leads our challenge. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.
Interested in joining the Lens-Artists Challenge? Click here for more information.
Fabulous photos from the beginning to the end and a great read too, Tina. Lovely work! x
Gorgeous photos and beautifully written this article to read, awesome ocean, lovely view of nature and inspiring buildings , thank you for sharing
Thanks very much Naomi
Great lightning photo! The Patagonia picture is stunning, Tina!
Many thanks Siobhan
A completely magical set, especially those whales’ tails.
These photos are always exceptional and inspiring. But those Whales Tails caught my attention and I also love seeing The Lightning Light Show . Ha!! Thanks Anita
Thanks Anita, glad you enjoyed those. It was a fun challenge.
The man in the shadows reminded me of the twilight zone! Love the blue hour!
Thanks GF – that one is a bit twilight zone-ish, isn’t it?!
I was fascinated by the phantom ship.
Thanks Susurrus – that was a fun capture.
Tina, I think this is one of your best selections of pictures on a particular topic. Don’t think I can pick a favorite, love them all. Great Post!
Thanks Sylvia, I enjoyed the hunt on this one.
Brilliant, Tina! Love all your pictures about the power of light and shadows!
Thanks Simone – I enjoyed our challenge this week as the light and shadow bring out the best in us!
Must say the solitary man is my favorite!
Thanks Sandy – very serendipitous timing on that one!
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GREAT, text as well as pictures
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thanks so much Klausbernd, and fond greetings to the Fab Four
” Moment of rest” is an image that really touched me deeply. Thank you for always for sharing your eye behind the lens.
My pleasure of coures Cornelia – thanks for your visit and comment.
This post has to be one of your finest. I can’t even think of which photo is my favorite: they’re all top-notch. The second one has drama, the ghostly blue boat is a mystery, and the lightning — well, nature’s magic and your patience make it a great one as well. Excellent examples for the challenge!
Thanks so much Rusha – nice to see your name pop up again!
We’ve been traveling. And we’re off to The Netherlands and Belgium tomorrow. Won’t be participating for a couple of weeks, but will enjoy reading the posts. Hopefully, there will be windmill photos to share when we return!
Have a great trip Rusha and let me know how you feel after traveling re covid concerns.
Your photos are always exceptional and inspiring. This week, you could have just stopped with that first photo because I honestly couldn’t concentrate on anything else. That is one truly amazing photo. Wow! That’s a 15 on a scale of 1-10.
LOL, thanks Judy – glad that one captured your imagination!
Amazing – I love the lightning
Thanks M.B., much appreciated.
These are so gorgeous, Tina, and Patagonia…wow. But, the resting woman is my favourite – a magical image.
Thanks very much A-C, yes that one begged to be captured. I’m sure she was truly exhausted.
Beautiful as always. I too like Edward Abee’s quote.
Thanks Toni – hope your trip back was uneventful.
These set of light and shadow images are remarkable, Tina. The Whales’ Tails is a great capture! The Phantom Ship, a breathtaking shot…
The last one is my favorite.
Thanks Amy – some personal favorites this week, glad you enjoyed
Edward Abbey is right, a light situation never comes back. So, do it now or the moment is gone. I love your sleeping lady from the first sight, the solitary man needed a bit longer. What’s the first one? A fountain shaped like the fins of 2 humpback whales?
Hi Andre – the first image is indeed a fountain with 2 whale fins. It was at a beautiful hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We also saw many of the real thing during a sunset sail nearby that is among my favorite travel memories. The sleeping woman was very lucky timing as she was on a short break from her difficult job.
Wow. 👍up to now, a porpoise was the biggest living whale I‘ve ever met
During the Cabo sail we saw a very small rubber dinghy with a 10HP motor, 2 tourists and a fellow driving the boat. Suddenly a humongous humpback whale surfaced about 10 feet behind the boat. He could easily have capsized the boat and the look of surprise and terror on the boat’s pilot was a sight to see!!! I’d have loved to have my camera on them at that moment!! Fortunately they survived the encounter and went home with quite a story to tell!
Wow, that’s really a very remarkable experience and story. 😳😮
An absolutely excellent set of images Tina! I love the one you called Solitary, the Torres del Paine (I agree, B&W is very effective), the Phantom Ship and most of all that last one of the worker in Vietnam – fantastic shot!
Many thanks Sarah – I was happy to have an opportunity to use some of my personal favorites this week!
Great recapture of some of our favorite travels. Time to do more👏👏👏👏
I saved this to come back to and enjoy. Sometimes we dip in and gone, but this is too beautiful, Tina. You had me with the whales’ tales- where was that?- but the sharpness of the man’s shadow amid the softer lines of the bridge creates such drama. And then that poor, tired lady. I felt for her!
Thanks so much for the lovely comment Jo. The whale fountain was at a lovely resort in Mexico, where we also were fortunate to see several of the real thing during a sunset sail in the area. A very fond memory. Both the bridge image and the napping woman are among my all-time favorites and it was nice to have an opportunity to post them.
I envy that lightning strike, never having managed to capture one well
Many thanks I.J. I remember working really hard to get that strike – lots of throwaways to go with the one capture!
I could guess. But that one photo makes it worthwhile.
HA! The whale tails fooled me for a sec. I wondered, where did you see WHALES like THAT?!?! Fool me once… Love the ghost ship and the lightning too. All great selections.
HA indeed John – they did look real didn’t they?! The statue was at a beautiful resort in Mexico, where we also did a whale watching sail and saw some real ones as well. One giant humpback came up about 5 feet behind a very small dinghy with a young couple and scared the bejeesus out of all of us LOL.
These are wonderful, Tina. For me, you said it all in these words … “to explore the mysteries of light and shadows” …. perfect …. and who visually demonstrated it. Thank you!
Thanks very much Frank. I enjoyed this challenge and the dip into the archives for some favorite moments.
Those whale tails.. they’re really quite something! A lovely feature, and one where you’ve captured the whole flow and form so well Tina!
Many thanks Liz – I thought it was a really beautiful sculpture – very lifelike
Each photo is beautiful but the last one – moment of rest – is quite special
Thanks Nora – I remember that moment perfectly although as always I think having an image of something helps our brain to retain the memory.
As always your photo are marvelous! Capturing that lightening strike was a serendipity! Your selection of quotes is also so apropos for these photos and this challenge.
Thanks Anne – I remember working really hard to capture that lightning strike. One keeper among many throw-aways LOL. I was happy to find the quotes as well so thank you for mentioning them.
Wow! Fantastic shots! The whale’s
Tails is my favorite and I also really like the tires worker in Viet Nam
Thanks Beth – I’m such a huge lover of whales so that fountain touched my heart, as did that exhausted woman in Vietnam. The world is an amazing place for a photographer, don’t you think?!
So true! I a lover of whales, too. I’m not good at photographing people. That’s something I want to work on.
Amazing – especially that nature light show image – wow. I also especially like the final image.
Thanks Karina – that last was truly a moment in time. That poor woman was totally exhausted. I almost felt guilty taking her photo but was glad in the end that I did. She didn’t wake up when I clicked the shutter!
Pure artistry in this post, Tina! These are all beyond stunning! I uttered a “wow” out loud at the shot of Patagonia, my word! I have to agree with Patti! You’ve outdone yourself, my friend. The lightning image is amazing, too. I hope you’re having a wonderful Mother’s Day and have a great week!
You’re a doll Terri – many thanks for the lovely comment. It’s hard not to WOW at Patagonia – trust me, we did it over and over again!! I must admit I did love that image 😊
Wow Tina, some post! I thought all your photos were terrific but my favorites are the ship passing by Hong Kong and the last two black and whites.
Thanks Anne – that ship is one of my favorites. Such a ghostly apparition, right?!
Amazing, Tina – as always! The man and the bridge should have been a film noir movie. The lighting is incredible…I could go on and on.
You rock Miss Laurel – many thanks
Some of those images take my breath away! I especially liked the two personal ones. The man under that bridge with shadows, and the sleeping worker.
Thanks Marlene – those are my favorites as well. Something about interplay of the light and shadows makes them special to me.
Plenty of drama in these shots, Tina!
Many thanks Sue
The whales’ tales is such an interesting shot because it seems to me it could be something else completely, something otherworldly with wings. The other two shots that got my special attention are the lightning and the phantom ship. The colors in the latter shot are marvelous.
THanks Janet – glad those caught your eye. I remember that fountain and I’m a huge fan of whales so it touched my heart a bit.
Oh, that lightning strike – the whole top of the mound is aglow! The man on the bridge truly does have a sense of mystery, right place right time moment!
Thanks Lindy – yep, the lightning was a real challenge but I was determined!!!
Wonderful images Tina, I especially love the whales tails! 💛
Thanks very much Xenia
Great lightning shot there Tina and I do like the worker photograph. Such an intimate portrait. However, the ‘blue’ hour and the ‘golden’ hour both appear at sunrise and sunset, just at the times when the light is cooler or warmer. Sorry for being such a pedant! 😉
Thanks Jude – some favorite moments for me. As for being pedantic, while it is true both qualities of light happen at both times, specifically in photographic terms there is only one definition for each. Is that true only in the U.S.???
From the Nikon website:
“In the morning, blue hour occurs just before golden hour at the beginning of civil twilight, which is around 30 minutes before the sun rises. In the evening, it occurs at the end of the civil twilight, just after the golden hour and starts roughly 10 to 15 minutes after the sun has set.”
Outstanding post, Tina!(Write to u later.)
Thanks SFAM – look forward to hearing from you!
Great photos! I want to get a camera or learn how to set mine so it is fast enough to catch a lightening bolt! I have read about it but I am not that camera-saavy so the minute I stop reading, it’s gone! Lol.
I’m with you on that LOL. They now have lightning “traps” that go off when it strikes but trial and error also work. I threw many away before catching that one!
Traps?!?! I have a Sony camera that I have had for a long time. It still works and the comparable models now are pretty. expensive. Sometimes I get it out and get some great photos but it is a lot of work and I miss a lot because I don’t completely know how to use it. When I use a tripod and focus on something, like I used to with certain birds and such, the pictures came out phenomenal.
them whales are magical
Thanks Chris – the fountain was beautiful and much more so at night with the lights at play
one of my fav subjects is water spray with light behind it.
Nature’s Light Show and Moment of Rest…my two favorites!
Thanks Sharon – some fond memories in those 2.
Excellent photos of light and shadow!
thanks very much Aletta
I really like how yo played with light and shadow in these pictures. And in so many different ways.
Thanks Rabirius – I enjoyed the challenge subject this week especially
Your images reek of drama! I expect there will be lots of drama in the shadows. I love “Solitary” and the peaks of Patagonia, but that ghost ship is so mysterious and so colorful.
Thanks John – yes that ship was a fun one. Probably more a fortuitous mistake on my part LOL.
Ever so good Tina. Love them all 🙂 🙂
Thanks so much Brian, glad you enjoyed these.
Wow, Tina. This is quite a collection of stunning images! One is more remarkable than the next. I especially love the moodiness and drama of the man under the bridge and the woman sleeping and the blue hour image and …..😀😀. You’re going to get wonderful reactions to this set.
Thanks so much Patti – I loved having an opportunity to post some of these so thank you especially for the challenge subject!
Very dramatic shots! Love your capture of the lightning!
Many thanks Teresa
Thanks Teresa – don’t ask me how many times I had to try before I got that one LOL!
Well you did it 👍🏼