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Let's Snap Together – Exercise 4: Light and Shadow

Photo by Percy Pham on Unsplash

The word photography comes from the Greek words photo (light) and graphe,(drawing). It literally means to draw with light. Yet it takes more than light to create a picture. To manifest an image also requires the absence of light, shadow

Too much light yields a blown-out or entirely white image. Too much shadow and the result is a completely black field. When we find the balance between light and shadow, that is when we truly begin to see.

We naturally want to live our lives in the light. We associate all of the good things we desire with light. We categorize the things we don’t want as shadows. We turn our faces toward the illumination and our backs to that which is harder to see and understand. But how can we know happiness if we do not also know what happiness is not?

The photographer’s mindset embraces both light and shadow. We are actively creating a dynamic construct between the two to realize a permanent image of a fleeting moment. As the light and shadows change, so do our results.

These may seem like dark times, but there is also light. One cannot exist without the other. Our challenge is to find a balance between the two.

Today’s challenge is to notice the interplay of light and shadow and to make a photograph the represents what you have observed. Share it with us by posting and including the hashtag #snapwithme2020.


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