Creative landscape photography: master the dark art of shadows and shade

Creative landscape photography: tips to master the dark art of shadows and shade

Pro tips for shooting low sun and shadows


Pro landscape photography tips for shooting low sun and long shadows

Image copyright Mark Hamblin

Give shadows room
Make sure shadows that are an important part of the picture don’t run out of the frame. The eye will naturally follow a strong shadow, so the whole shadow should be included within the picture space.

Use low sunlight to emphasise a subject
In a predominantly flat landscape, you need to look for a subject with height, such as a boulder, building or tree. With low sunlight, tall subjects at right angles to the sun will be strongly lit, making them stand out against the much darker, partially lit surroundings.

Think about your composition
Position yourself in relation to the sun so that shadows run diagonally across the frame. This is often the most pleasing option in terms of composition and will naturally lead the eye through the picture.

Shoot a High Dynamic Range image
In very strong low sunlight the range of tones from black to white are impossible to expose for in a single image. For this reason, you may want to take a sequence of identical shots at different exposure settings and combine the images using dedicated HDR software (follow our guide for how to make realistic HDR).

PAGE 1: Where to place the sun
PAGE 2: Nailing exposure
PAGE 3: Get creative with shadows
PAGE 4: Pro tips for shooting a low sun and shadows


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