How to add depth to your pictures using shadows

In the art of photography, shadows are not merely absence of light; they are a canvas for creativity, depth, and emotion. Inspired by Tanizaki Junichiro’s “In Praise of Shadows,” let’s delve into how shadows can shape, intensify, and project to create captivating pictures that transcend the ordinary.

Embracing shadows as an essential element in photography allows us to play with depth and dimension, infusing our pictures with an elusive kind of beauty.

Here are some techniques to consider:

Shaping Shadows: Experiment with different light sources and angles to sculpt shadows that contour and define the subject’s features. By strategically positioning lights, you can create dramatic contrasts and add sculptural depth to the subject.

Intensifying Shadows: Explore the power of contrast by accentuating shadows to highlight the mood and atmosphere of the photographs. By adjusting exposure and shadow intensity, you can evoke emotions and draw viewers into the captivating interplay of light and darkness.

Projecting Shadows: Consider using props or architectural elements to cast intriguing shadows that interact with the subject, adding layers of narrative and symbolism to the picture. Whether it’s through window frames, foliage, or textured surfaces, experiment with unconventional sources of shadow to create unexpected visual effects.

Incorporating shadows into photography offers a unique opportunity to evoke mystery, depth, and an ethereal beauty that transcends the ordinary. Let’s embrace the subtle nuances of light and darkness, weaving them into our photographs to capture the essence of human emotion and experience.


Hi, I’m Manuela, urban potter and Italian artist who’s passionate about exploring the expressive potential of clay. With a love for Wabi Sabi aesthetics and the beauty of imperfection, I create bespoke ceramics, paintings, and fine art photography. My studio, nestled in the charming city of Milan, is a magical box where creativity runs wild and beauty is abundant. Whether you’re looking to bring a touch of magic into your everyday life, or simply to explore your creative side through art therapy I’m here to inspire and encourage you on your journey. I bring art into the world and celebrate the beauty in every moment. This blog is my Artistic Salad, filled with creativity, beauty, joie de vivre, passion and tools for creative minds.

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