The Shadow Is the Subject

September 29th, 2010 by Royce Howland


Aquamarine Shadow, Abraham Lake

Aquamarine Shadow, Abraham Lake

Things have been busy! In the spare time from the day job, I’ve been doing some writing and catching up on cataloging. I’ve also been doing some location scouting and other prep work for the coming Light Matters Masterclass. (Spaces are still available for the class, by the way.)

While taking in the scenery around Aurum Lodge on a scouting visit, I was standing on a low rocky crest in late afternoon light, overlooking the stunning blue-green waters of Lake Abraham. I never tire of this color in the mountain lakes… far more than clear water, this glacial coloring seems to me like the chromatic embodiment of freshness and purity.

I was looking down at my shadow dancing in the ripples of the lake waters, and thought of the saying that I've heard and read from many photographers — “light illuminates, shadow defines.” What if the shadow doesn’t just define the subject, but is the whole subject? I took a position on a craggy stretch of the rocks, pulled out my pocket camera (a Panasonic LX3), and captured an image of my shadow self over the water. Pay attention to shadows… including your own!

Learn more about Royce, his images and his workshops at Vivid Aspect Photography.



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