The art of light and shadow, the use of shadows in street photography
Photography is an art that uses light, and the same is true for street photography. Light can produce shadows, and the rational use of shadows can balance the picture, balance the elements in the work, and add a different atmosphere to the picture. Let us take a look at the techniques of using shadows in street photography.
Picture from Ashim D’Silva
When there are many highlights in the picture, you can try to include the main body of the picture and the shadow in the picture together, which can increase the interest of the picture and make the picture more attractive to the viewer Gaze. When choosing a shooting angle, try to choose a higher angle of view, so that the main character of the picture and the shadow can form a special angle, and the expressive power of the shadow in the picture can be improved. At the same time, the shooting timing and light angle also need attention. In a backlit environment, shadows are more likely to appear. Try to avoid shooting at noon during the shooting time, when the sun position is higher and the shadow performance is poor.
The picture is from Joshua K. Jackson
In addition to the shadows produced by the sun, you can also try to use the shadows in the water to create. After a rainy day, there will always be some stagnant water on the side of the road. Using this stagnant water for shooting can get unexpected results. When shooting, you can try to reverse the picture, with the reflection in the water as the normal direction, in order to create a sense of contradiction and add a distinctive effect to the picture. However, it should be noted that there is a certain difference between the reflection in the water and the actual scene exposure, and special attention should be paid to the exposure control. At this point, you can try to choose Nikon’s NEF format for shooting, which can provide more convenience for later adjustments.
The picture is from Sara Aho
Of course, you can also skip the reflection of the main body of the screen and directly try to create with the strong contrast of light and shadow. In a city full of tall buildings, light often passes through two buildings, forming a “sandwich” structure in which two shadow areas sandwich a high-light area. At this time, you only need to wait patiently. When other elements pass through the highlight area, press the shutter to record the light and shadow faithfully. In the choice of equipment, you can try to use the Z 6 equipped with Active D-Lighting function for shooting. Even when shooting high-contrast scenes in a backlit environment, Active D-Lighting can retain the details of highlights and shadows. Compared with the high dynamic range that is only suitable for shooting static subjects, Active D-Lighting is better for capturing moving subjects.
To use shadows to create ideal street photography works, we need to have a certain understanding of the changes in light, and know the state of light and possible changes at different times and seasons in order to find what we need The light is used reasonably to produce the ideal work.
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