Silhouettes and Shadows
I’ve always liked striking, contrasting light, and with it, the silhouetted images it can produce. I equally love the play of light and shade, and the shadows that are thrown; they often add mystery and intrigue.
This is a selection of some some of my favourite shots, taken over the past few years, in London, elsewhere in the UK and abroad. I’ve used a few different treatments for some of the shots – using Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS4. Photographs have been taken mainly on a Canon 5D and a Leica D-Lux 4; some taken on Canon 1DS MKII.
I hope you enjoy…
Bath Abbey, England; one of the few Churches that allows photography. The light was strong and caught this woman in quiet contemplation, alone with her thoughts…
The British Museum, London. This museum’s superb exhibits are complemented by its excellent combination of classical and modern architecture, especially in the Great Court where modern stairs wrap around the Victorian Reading Room, criss-crossed with shadows thrown by the fantastic undulating glass roof.
Lake Como, Italy, is always majestic. On this occasion, the epic mountain backdrop framed the tranquility of the calm waters, while moody clouds gathered.
The three images above are London’s Southbank, taken just recently; the view from a hotel in Taormina, Sicily; and Lower Manhattan viewed from the Brooklyn Bridge. All feature that stark light that works so well in b&w.
I particularly like this one of the couple thrown into shadow…
The first of these two images shows commuters, ant-like, far below St Paul’s Cathedral, from where this shot was taken. I took quite a few, at random, but waited to get a good mix of Londoners going about their business. The second shot is from the north side of the Millennium Bridge, looking south towards Tate Modern. I used a long lens to compress perspective and highlight the dramatic design of the bridge. In the background, at the top left of the museum, tiny silhouetted figures look down on the bridge and the magnificent River Thames.
New Forest, Hampshire, England, taken at dawn on a very cold February morning. It was worth freezing to be part of the peace and calm of the sun’s first rays breaking through an amazing dark blue and orange sunrise!
Dunbar, Scotland. Once the tide comes in, this bridge rises eerily from the water – truly a ‘bridge to nowhere’.
Let me end with one of my favourite parks – Greenwich, in south London. Lots of happy memories, past and present. Bitter-sweet. The sun sets, a beautiful gold, behind the skeletal trees waiting patiently for spring; the spire rising from a church over the hill; and the contrails of airplanes taking thousands to and fro faraway places.
All images © Michael David 2013