Special effects Say it with shadows
Tom Welsh uncovers the secret lives of the shadows behind us
Shadows follow us around constantly, so we’re going to capture their stories on camera. A successful shoot depends on good ideas, so think about what you want your shadows to be doing before you head out with your Nikon. Providing a background and telling a story in one image can be difficult, but it’ll give viewers plenty to talk about when it’s done well. Keep things simple; as you are shooting a two-dimensional surface, space is restricted.
To create the best shadows, you need a strong light source. The sun on a bright day is ideal, though you can use other sources of light, such as an off-camera flash or even street lights. Artificial light is more controllable, but also more difficult to work with. When using the sun, be aware of what angle the light is coming from: the low angles early and late in the day will result in taller shadows stretched across the floor, whereas at midday shadows will be shorter as the light comes from directly above.
The secret of this technique is obscuring the camera within your own shadow so that you can star in the scene. You also need to shoot with a wide lens – we used a 24-85mm kit lens on our Nikon D610 D-SLR.