Week 2 of the 52 Week Project: “Shadows”

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Phew, this week’s topic was considerably harder than I had anticipated! I am not completely satisfied with my pictures from this week’s challenge, but I did learn quite a bit about light and creating shadows. Since one of my goals of this project is to learn and improve my photography, I am pleased to say that this week’s project was a success in that regard. Here are some of the highlights from this week’s challenge:


One interesting effect from the side and back lighting was the glow created in the translucent dice. I also really liked the reflection of the dice’s colour onto the shadows.

If you haven’t already tried this, I recommend picking at item at home to photograph and then experimenting with different ways of lighting it:

  • Try lighting it from different directions. In particular, try lighting it from 0, 90, 180, and 270 degree angles from the subject. The direction you choose will influence where the shadow will be located.
  • Try lighting it from different heights. The height of the light will affect the length of the shadows.
  • Try different types of lights if you have them – flashlight, speed light (flash), daylight (just after sunrise and just before sunset to get the best shadows), and florescent lights in your home. I preferred using my Nikon SB-700 speed light for these photos. An interesting fact – you can affect how wide your flash will spread the light by using the ‘zoom’ function on your speed light. If you would like more information on flash photography, Diana Eftaiha has a good article on Getting to Know Your Flash as well as an article on Flash Photography.
  • Try varying the distance between the light and your subject, as you will find distance affects the overall lighting of the subject as well as the shadows. 
  • Stick to one light in the beginning – this will simplify the exercise and give you a better idea of the effect of your light on your subject. All other lights in the room should be turned off so that are not creating additional shadows. 

Have fun!



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