Light & Shadow One of the first things we learn about photography is how to control contrast.  Everything from using split neutral density filters, to creating exposures that split the difference between highlights and shadows.  Today High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is a great tool in contrast control.  Sometimes we forget that when we have learned how to use a tool in photography as our first step, often our second best step is to ignore that tool and let our emotions and our inner vision guide us.  Sometimes high contrast images with shadows can add drama that a straight forward photo will lack.  Who knows what lurks in the shadows.  Mysteries without any clues.  Thank you Bob Seeger. Canyonlands N.P. Utah  After spending the day creating images in Arches N.P. I made it to nearby Canyonlands just in time for the last rays of light to skim the tops of the rock forms.  I managed to climb to the top of some roadside rocks in time for about four images of which two are below.  Recording too much detail in the shadows in this shot would have simply made a lie of the art that was before me. Arches N.P. Utah I mentioned that my day started at Arches N.P.  I made my share of images of landscapes and individual arches fully bathed in the golden light of morning but I managed to find a few scenarios where the mystery of light and shadow became a central part of my picture. Bleeding Heart Flowers The land is not the only subject where light and shadows can come together to make a powerful image. It helps in this shot that the flowers and leaves have a translucent quality to them.  Still the shadows are black and this backlit image is more powerful than if it were front lit or there was detail in the busy background. Young Eastern Cottontail Rabbit The one form of nature photography that I generally do look to eliminate any shadows is wildlife.  Just like people portraits shadows tend to only leave you wishing you could have a clear view of the entire animal.  The one exception that I make is when I can use the warm light of early morning with mammals.  Here I managed to hold enough detail in the shadowed side of this bunny that I felt it was not disturbing.  Mysteries with plenty of clues in this case. The Message My point is that rules in photography can serve you well.  It can move your photography along at a very fast pace.  The message is that once you master those rules feel free to break them at will.  Being able to both use and forget the rules will make you a complete photographer/artist. Never let the rules destroy the artist.  Wayne

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1 Response to Secrets

  1. Pingback: Short Stories | Wayne Nelson's Earth Image's Blog

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