digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

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24 Dramatic Shadowy Images to Help You See Light

A while ago I wrote an article about: 5 Tips for Using Shadows to Create Dramatic Images. So I thought I'd find and share some images that exemplify how to use them.


Just as a quick review, in order to see light you must learn to see shadows. Images devoid of them often feel flat and two dimensional, versus ones with strong shadows and dark tones that have depth, contrast, and a 3D quality. You feel like you can step right into the scene it feels so rich and real.

Let's see how these photographers used shadows to make dramatic images. Look at each and see if you can tell:

  • What direction the light is coming from?
  • The time of day it was shot; morning, midday, late in the evening?
  • Is it hard or soft light?
  • Does the lighting add to the mood of the image, if so, how?
  • Do the shadows enhance the texture of the subject?

Use this as a learning exercise to practice reviewing images, and pick up tips from good ones that you can apply in your own photography.

Begin and enjoy

Skating by Svein Nordrum on

Le Grand Agnelin by Xavier Jamonet on

Mt Nanaedake by Kengo Shibutani on

Ballad of Gales by Alex Noriega on

The Tate Modern by David Southern on

Old Man by Dane Alex  on

Soulful by Lisa Holloway on

FEEL by Thierry NGUYEN on

**BW** by Joachim Bergauer on

Fluff cloud by Takashi  on

Attention Grabber by Max Rive on

The Flaming Sisters by Raza Durrani on

Rise by Minh Nguyen on

CIGAR AT SUNSET by Chris Evans on

My Favourite Lady by Vichaya Pop on

Horned Viper by Rilind H on

Old Lanterns. Japan by PAkDocK @PAkDocK on

Kolmanskop beauty by Michael Dessagne on

The sense of abandonment by Ciro Santopietro on

Darkness by sandra160173 on

LoaD IN # by Guillaume Rio on

Facing the Giant by Morkel Erasmus on

"Grand Monsoon" by Mark Metternich on

Claustral Canyon by Lee Duguid on

Note: in the process of finding these images I've added two new things to my bucket list. The abandoned villages of Kolmanskop in Namibia, and Belchite in Spain. What's on your bucket list, are they photography related?


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