Photographing Shadows

I’ve been working through some of the exercises in Finding your Visual Language by Claire Benn, Leslie Morgan and Jane Dunnewold.  One of them is to take lots of photos, paying attention to the possibilities for design, and they suggest going out and taking a whole series just of shadows.  So I did this last week, the first sunny day in ages when there actually WERE shadows…

tree shadow

Oh dear, there’s my shadow as well!

tree shadows

As you can see, I’m drawn mostly to tree shadows (and, to be honest, they were the only interesting shadows around, mostly….).

another tree shadow

At least this one has a streetlamp in it as well.

I had fun with this one when I got back.  I used Irfanview, that brilliant free photo programme which I usually just use for resizing photos.  I cropped it, set it to greyscale, made it into a negative image and then got this by clicking on ‘Image > Effects > Effects Browser > Metallic Gold.  And here’s the result:

shadows manipulated

Cool, eh?  I could see this as a gocco print….

I did the same thing with this photo:

street with tree shadows

Here it is – I actually turned it upside down as well….


And while I was trying out how I did it in Irfanview so I could write it down for this post , I tried it with a random transfer paint design and that turned out fun as well:

transfer crayon rubbings manipulated

Do you remember this circles rubbing from the post about transfer paints I did a few weeks ago?  What amazing things you can do with photos these days!   Hmm… got a feeling that effect might get used a lot in the future….

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7 Responses to Photographing Shadows

  1. Gerrie March 19, 2009 at 12:21 am #

    I love this. I have been planning to work through the book this year, but I think I will have to wait until I get through the SDA conference work.

  2. Lisa March 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    Hey Liz, I love the gold tree picture! You do such amazing work and I really admire how you’re always trying something new. Keep up the great work!

    Do you know if Jane Dunnewold is on a list or some such that I could join. I’m starting to really get into surface design and she’s my idol! I loved seeing the challenge silk pieces that others did.

  3. pippa March 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm #

    So many great posts the lovely compost dyeing, the shadows and the brilliant ideas in Jane Dunnewolds blog,thanks very much

  4. Jackie March 21, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    I’ve heard of irfanview but didn’t know what it was. Thank yiu for the tip.

  5. peter March 24, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Isn’t it marvelous the results we can achieve when we step outside our normal comfort zone? I always find new ideas that I know I would never have found any other way but to try something different. No matter what, the hardest part is the trying. Congrats.

  6. Lesley March 25, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    Hi Liz, It’s great to visit here again and see what you’ve been up to! Those shadow photos and how you’ve manipulated them really caught my eye. I’ve never heard of Irfanview, it sounds really good. I had lots of fun taking some shadow portraits recently.
    p.s Thanks for the welcome back 🙂

  7. Michele March 30, 2009 at 1:10 am #

    Wow, you came out with some really exciting graphics from the shadow pics. I’m tempted to get the book!