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Case Study: Casting shadows

Today’s case study is all about controlling the shadows we can cast on our subject by firing flash through objects. To illustrate that concept, my idea for this case study was to position my bride under a branch of thorns to create some sort of crown-like accessory atop her head:

_D3M9155

ISO 320; f8.0; 1/400 sec at 48mm

The light was aimed through the thorns so as to lessen the shadows on her face. I brought the flash as close as possible to the thorns which helped to create the shadows on her face which in turn are not very noticeable but still present. As a final stylistic touch, I asked to close her eyes to support my concept.

The basic operating rules for here are quite simple, but widely applicable across a wide range of scenarios:

For softer shadows bring your light source as close as possible to the object you are casting shadows with.

For harder shadows move your light source further away from the object you are casting shadows with.

 

I’d love to see some examples of how you’ve cast shadows in your photography.

Share some in the comments below!

 

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