During a 2001 launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, NASA photographer Pat McCracken captured this amazing photograph of the shuttle’s smoke plume casting a shadow across the full moon rising in the horizon.
[...] the Sun, Earth, Moon, and rocket were all properly aligned for this photogenic coincidence. First, for the space shuttle’s plume to cast a long shadow, the time of day must be either near sunrise or sunset. Only then will the shadow be its longest and extend all the way to the horizon. Finally, during a Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the sky. Just after sunset, for example, the Sun is slightly below the horizon, and, in the other direction, the Moon is slightly above the horizon. Therefore, as Atlantis blasted off, just after sunset, its shadow projected away from the Sun toward the opposite horizon, where the Full Moon just happened to be. [#]
In this video, UK photography instructor Damien Lovegrove demonstrates how you can add some pseudo-sunlight to portraits by simply placing some weeds or part of a bush — which he calls a “dingle” — between an off-camera flash and your subject.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, photographer Alexey Titarenko observed how St. Petersburg streets that used to be lively and filled with joyful people had suddenly turned dark and gloomy, with people confused, malnourished, and worn out. He decided to capture this change by shooting the streets at slow shutter speeds, turning the downtrodden crowds into shadowy figures. He titled the resulting project “City of Shadows“. Read more…
When the sunlight is right, you can shoot a photograph of a couple holding hands while they form a heart with their shadows! Bonus points if you can catch the sunlight with an engagement ring and make it sparkle.
Here’s a mind-bending video in which someone created the famous checker shadow illusion in real life. The optical illusion takes advantage of the way our brains process lighting and shadows.
As with many so-called illusions, this effect really demonstrates the success rather than the failure of the visual system. The visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter, but that is not its purpose. The important task is to break the image information down into meaningful components, and thereby perceive the nature of the objects in view. [#]
Interesting huh? Our eyes aren’t very good as a light meters, since they’re easily deceived by context. Read more…
Here’s a creative idea that we love – cut out giant letters, gather up some friends, and spell out words with shadows! Justin Swindle, a student at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, created the above image by cutting the sides off the biggest cardboard moving box he could get his hands on. He then traded the letters freehand and cut them out using a razor.