Why are shadows bad? (newbie)


enewmen

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Aug 4, 2010
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Hi all.

I took some maco shots of bugs before. I thought they where good, sharp and detailed.
However, the more experienced people constructively criticized how my lighting was so bad (even though there was plenty of light from the flash).
It had some unsightly shadows.

I notice many photographers try to get no shadows at all with well diffused lighting for most photos.

So.
When is it usually better to have well diffused lighting and when is it better to have some dramatic shadows to help add some depth ?

Ok, thanks!
 

OoStarDustoO

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Jun 22, 2010
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Hi all.
I took some maco shots of bugs before. I thought they where good, sharp and detailed.
However, the more experienced people constructively criticized how my lighting was so bad (even though there was plenty of light from the flash).
It had some unsightly shadows.
I notice many photographers try to get no shadows at all with well diffused lighting for most photos.
So. When is it usually better to have well diffused lighting and when is it better to have some dramatic shadows to help add some depth ?
Ok, thanks!
:bsmilie::bsmilie: Been wondering about the same thing too.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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who say shadows are bad!! only ghost has no shadow. :bsmilie: :bsmilie: :bsmilie:

anyway, you need highlight and shadow to tell you the shape of an object, the only time highlight and shadow are bad is causing distraction.
 

Diavonex

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Sep 23, 2008
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Hi all.

I took some maco shots of bugs before. I thought they where good, sharp and detailed.
However, the more experienced people constructively criticized how my lighting was so bad (even though there was plenty of light from the flash)......
There's too much light from your flash; you must use a diffuser to soften the light from the flash.

Don't forget the flash is very close to the subject; you must drastically diffuse the light source.

Example: If you take a photo under a bright hot sun, the shadow will be very harsh. Take the same picture when the sun is behind the cloud, the shadow will be soft and pleasant to the eyes.
 

Last edited:

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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Hi all.

I took some maco shots of bugs before. I thought they where good, sharp and detailed.
However, the more experienced people constructively criticized how my lighting was so bad (even though there was plenty of light from the flash).
It had some unsightly shadows.

I notice many photographers try to get no shadows at all with well diffused lighting for most photos.

So.
When is it usually better to have well diffused lighting and when is it better to have some dramatic shadows to help add some depth ?

Ok, thanks!
somtimes having plenty of light is a problem. you need to know how to tame that plentiful light.
It will be easier for us to give suggestion, if you post your image.
 

enewmen

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Aug 4, 2010
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There too much light from your flash; you must use a diffuser to soften the light from the flash.

Don't forget the flash is very close to the subject; you must drastically diffuse the light source.

Example: If you a photo under a bright hot sun, the shadow will be very hush. Take the same picture when the sun is behind the cloud, the shadow will be soft and pleasant to the eyes.
I was just asking a very general question , but I understand your point. But I think I'm missing WHY the shadows are bad? Just because they are hard on the eyes?
But here is a photo sample so you can see yourself.
thanks again!

 

Last edited:

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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only when the shadow are TOO Harsh, then there is a problem.

saturation is good, but when it is TOO saturated, then there is a problem. simple as that.
 

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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I was just asking a very general question.
But here is a photo sample so you can see yourself.
thanks again!

I think it is light fall off than shadow.
 

Jango

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From the photo, looks like there is a lack of ambient light rather than shadow cast from the flash.
 

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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Another sample:
this light is bad for the poor spider eyes. I suggest you pick up a book on macro photography.
 

jopel

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Dec 21, 2004
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Umm,
what is "light fall off" ?

thanks!
Light fall off happens when the light source is too close to the subject. You need to read about it to get a better understanding.
 

enewmen

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Aug 4, 2010
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Thanks for all the good advice people.
It seems most of the problem is the diffusing.
Can I assume all shadows are "bad" for macro shots on bugs?

(Yes, I'll read more book as well)
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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Thanks for all the good advice people.
It seems most of the problem is the diffusing.
Can I assume all shadows are "bad" for macro shots on bugs?

(Yes, I'll read more book as well)
no, i can provide you with fine examples of good macro shots wher ethe shadows are used to great effect.

i hope you can tell the difference:

http://www.pbase.com/eikin/image/75393555
http://www.pbase.com/eikin/image/75393562
http://www.pbase.com/eikin/image/75384350
 

enewmen

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