Chasing Light, Finding Shadows (Video)

Shadows in the Snow | ©Stefano SacchieroRemember back as a kid and reading about Never-Never Land? In the story, our hero Peter Pan had difficulty finding something he misplaced — his shadow.

It’s the area where direct light from a source cannot reach due to obstruction by an object — in this case the autumn leaves-and-cobwebs clad Peter himself. Thankfully, Peter found his shadow and Wendy sewed it right back in place.

Children’s books aside, the shadow occupies all of the space behind an opaque object with light in front of it. The cross section of a shadow is a two-dimensional silhouette, or reverse projection of the object blocking the light. Under natural light, the sun causes many objects to have shadows. And, at varying times of the day, when the sun is at different angles to the earth, the lengths of shadows change.

Many pro photographers will tell you that light, natural or manmade, is the single most important factor of the trade, and that we all need to master it if we ever hope to become proficient behind the lens.

Chasing the Light book cover | ©2011 Ibarionex PerelloRenowned Los Angeles-based photographer, writer, educator, filmmaker and podcaster Ibarionex Perello has authored a primer on the art of capturing light that every novice, journeyman and pro should read: Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with available Light. It’s on sale through Amazon.

This master craftsman shares his unique insights and perspective for joining forces with light to create vivid images. He does his very best to bridge the widening gap between the ever-changing technical side with the creative side. If you’re really serious about photography, give Perello’s take on light a serious look. I did.

Whether you’re focusing on people, wildlife, landscape or cityscape, the creative use of light and shadows is often the difference between a poorly thought out snapshot and a suitable-for-framing photograph.

Simply put, chase the light and you’ll find the shadows. Perhaps Peter Pan’s, too, if he misplaces it again.

©The Palladian Traveler

©Tom Palladio Images

TPT Borsalino on Cobblestone | ©Tom Palladio Images