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.