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We are focusing on building a community, bringing the Mortal Muses photographers together, and making the world a bit smaller. On this page, you will find mission: MUSE, muse university and special features.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

muse university - shadow portraits

exploring with a camera: shadow portraits
a repost by kat of The Kat Eye View of the World

Here is a fun exploration idea that I've played around with a few times. Finding a great "shadow portrait" opportunity like the one above requires a few things:

1. Sunshine or a direct light source that throws shadows. OK, obvious. :)
2. A wide open enough surface that the shadows are recognizable.
3. Noticing the shadow.
4. Deciding on composition: Angle to capture the shadow to get the "portrait" of your subject, how much of the background to use to "frame" your portrait, etc.

You can do this with any object, it doesn't have to be people. The thing I like about these shadow portraits of our family is that they are all three of us together (since I don't turn my camera over to strangers, it's hard to get a family photo all together) and that they are also of the place we are visiting. It puts us, in that place, in a unique way.

The first photo was in Riomaggiore, in the Cinque Terre last Spring. The photo below... well, it should be obvious.

Play around with capturing shadow portraits like these, or just notice the shadows around you. Shadows add so much depth and dimension to our world, they are worth a notice of their own.


repost by kat

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If you would like to provide a post for this series, please contact kat [at] kateyeview.com


  1. These shadow portraits are wonderful. Great eye!

  2. I love shadow portraits. Here is one of mine. :)


  3. THat's so much fun - I'm always avoiding shadows but I need to embrace them!

  4. These are great and a wonderful project idea to explore! I like the quality of your family being in the photos, but in a mysterious, not-quite-there form.

  5. very cool! i didn't get to capture some until today lol

  6. there was a time a while back when i photographed my shadow everywhere i went it was a lot of fun. i have been to Riomaggiore and some of the other villages in Cinque Terre loved loved loved it. drank prosecco under the train line on the beach front in Monterroso and walked the lovers walk such a wonderful part of the world