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Shooting Challenge: Shadow People

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Shadows - they're our 2D doppelgängers shrouded in darkness...sometimes gorgeous, sometimes eerie, often both. For this week's Shooting Challenge, celebrate the shadow, again.

The Challenge

So we've featured shadows before. This time around, though, you'll be restricted to living subjects only. Of course, you can have shadows of objects, too, and the shadows can be interacting with humans, but be sure that the shadow can become a character all its own within your work.


But go beyond the mere shadow self-portrait. Because we've all seen it.

The Technique

Obviously directional light will produce a shadow. And the lower the angle (say, of the sun at dusk), the longer the shadows will be.


Photographic explores the topic in a casual tutorial. Digital Picture Zone has some handy tips, too.

Just do us one favor: no using Photoshop to fake a shadow. Everything in the frame should be a practical effect.

The Example

Our lead photo is by flickr's DING52. It's a fun shot, clearly captured at the beginning or end of the day when shadows lengthen - its simple lines exacerbated by the clear slice of the horizon. Now that we've seen this, push yourself to do more. Play with light and tell a story - like Colin McLellan did for last week's Shooting Challenge.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. I know that your photo may not fall into those exact high rez dimensions, so whatever native resolution you're using is fine.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, August 22nd at 8AM Eastern to with "Shadow2" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameShadow2.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameShadow2Wallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.