This exercise for photographing your shadow from Alessandra Cave's book Shooting with Soul is one of my personal favorite things to do. The one thing that I will now try, that I hadn't considered before, is to incorporate an interesting surrounding and texture with the shadow. In the past, I generally went for a clean surface for the shadow along with the elemental focus of the photo. Below, Alessandra's photo is gorgeous and also cool because it combines another of my faves- spelling out a word with objects.
1. Find an interesting location to capture your shadow.
2. Choose a light-colored, clean background for better contrast with your shadow.
3. Play with architectural lines, color, interesting surfaces, patterns, and textures.
4. Observe the light. When the sun is very low in the sky—either in the early morning or the late afternoon—you will cast more interesting, softer, and longer shadows. Around midday, when the sun is directly overhead, your shadows will be harder and shorter.
• Turn off your flash. You need the contrast between the light and dark when capturing interesting shadows.
• Use a tripod or prop the camera on a secure surface to free your hands and body for interesting posing.
• Use a self-timer or remote so you can jump, wave, etc. (Hint: Your tripod will most likely also show up in the photo unless you can place it behind or away from the light source.)
• For an interesting variation, photograph your shadow cast onto a wall instead of on the ground.
• Take a picture of your shadow with an interesting or unusual pose.
• Interact with your environment: Take a photo of a shadow of you touching, holding, or pointing at something around you.
More about the Quarry photography book: