Today we are back with photographer and filmmaker Sean Tucker, watch as Sean shares some thoughts on the change and growth that happens when we learn to embrace our shadows.
If you’re a fan of Sean’s or a regular reader of our blog you’re sure to recall the first in Sean’s Lessons for Light and Life series, Protect Your Highlights which we wrote about earlier this year. Much like his first video, this second edition not only gives sound technical advice on embracing and using shadow within our images but also gives us food for thought when going out into the world.
As photographers know from first hand experience shooting in less than ideal lighting situations is, well, less than ideal. The battle between protecting your highlights and preventing them from being completely blown out and dark shadows which don’t always preserve the detail you’re searching for is an ongoing one for us all. So what really is the answer? According to Sean Tucker embracing them is key. Learning how to use the shadows you capture to your story-telling advantage will not only help you to create images that your viewers will lean into, but also help you to grow your skill as a photographer.
Sean goes on to give us a first-hand look at exactly what can be achieved by embracing our shadows with examples of scenes from a few of the movies his favourite cinematographer, Roger Deakins has worked on in the past few years. Further proving his point that embracing the shadows created in your images or videos can give your work an entirely different story altogether. And while Sean admits that Deakins breathtaking use of shadows may work very well in a dark cinema, this stark contrast between light and shadow may not work with still images. This doesn’t stop us as photographers from taking inspiration from these examples and working on implementing this concept into our still work.
Sean leaves us with the following advice on embracing our shadows in photography but in our live too; ” Whether it’s your photography, or in your life; Learn to embrace your shadows, make friends with them and use them to tell better stories. ”