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The Shadow Knows

30th August 2011

a case for more activity


This year, summer has been an especially busy time for us. I’m just catching up with some of my tasks including writing these articles. I’ll do my best to keep sharing some of the things I’ve learned having spent so many years with a camera.

We all know that light is the agent that makes photography possible. Most often we spend our time making sure that the light is “perfect” – the right intensity and direction to bring out the essence of our subject.

When light diminished or missing, your camera records the darker areas as shadows.

Here’s a few examples of how I’ve played around with shadows.

One of the reasons for a busy summer was two cross-country trips by car from Grand Rapids to Reno, Nevada and back – a journey of 4400 miles x 2 or a total of 8800 miles. That’s a lot of driving.

On one of these drives, my five year old granddaughter and I took a side trip to visit nearby Yosemite and decided to hike a long 3 miles to gaze at the Giant Sequoia trees.

The entire trail was tree covered and occasionally the sunlight would burst through the leaves. When I spotted our stark shadows ahead of us on the path, I simply snapped the shutter to capture an interesting shot of both of us hiking.

Skip forward to last weekend. We’ve just returned from the second drive out west.

As I’m admiring the colorful stencils on one of the grandkids’ bedroom wall, I see a captivating reflection superimposed over the cartoon characters.

The sun shining through the window is casting a reflection on the wall too.

The shadow of the window has turned the stencil into a magical scene.


We see that lighting (or the lack of lighting) can be used to create neat pictures too. Experimenting with the shadow side of lighting was easy and in my case fun too.



Written by Arnie Lee


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Don’t Just Stand There

05th August 2011

a case for more activity


With fourteen grandkids, I feel very lucky to have ample opportunity to catch them on film.

And while I enjoy taking portraits of them – conventional static pictures of them at rest – I also like to capture them as they’re going about their youthful business.

Below are a few examples of each.

Here I’ve asked Logan to give up a few seconds from playing in the sandbox and “hold still”.

In this shot I’ve caught Eden in the air just as she jumped onto the pavement as she emerged from the back door.

Both are pleasant enough pictures of each.

But let’s look at a couple of other snapshots to see if there’s a different way to capture the kids.

Can you feel their joy as they slurp down the cold ice cream on a warm summer evening? For me, this is a more memorable picture.

Instead of another “smile please” snapshot, I was able to shoot Ezzie practicing her longboarding skills.


You have a many choices when capturing kids. If you haven’t done so already, try shooting the young ones as they’re involved with their activities.



Written by Arnie Lee