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Textures and shadows #photography

When we photograph a texture we also photograph tiny shadows and it is shadows that give our photograph form. You need to get your picture quite sharp to show the textures. I tend to do that with quite fast shutter speeds. That is the big advantage of a DSLR and of the Nikon D750 in particular.  I mostly shoot on aperture priority and so the camera sets the shutter speed and for many shots where I shoot at the widest aperture the camera sets a fast shutter speed. The textures and shadows stand out giving the photograph a 3D appearance.

textures and shadows

Textures and shadows

In the above picture, we have tiny shadows in the bird’s feathers and the shadows give the concrete post form and texture. The larger textures and shadows are obvious but there are smaller ones too. You can shoot at a fast shutter speed but also in editing you can sharpen the photo which highlights the difference between light and dark making the picture look even sharper. I shot this image wide open and there is an interesting bokeh in the background. Shooting at a wide aperture has separated my subject from the background as well as creating a background bokeh.


Most things have textures and they can the regular textures of a man-made object or the irregular texture of nature. We need to get those textures in sharp contrast and the contrast between light and dark too. When we’re shooting outside it is useful to know where our light is coming from. If the sun is behind us it can make the image look flat with little shadow. If we are shooting into the sun that can create all kinds of problems. I often get my own shadow in the shot which can be quite annoying and difficult to deal with too.


If there isn’t enough light for your shot then you increase your ISO making the camera sensor more sensitive to light. On aperture priority, I simply turn the rear control dial and increase the ISO until I get the required shutter speed.


At the moment I’m in lockdown and so I’m creating a pictorial chronicle of my time in isolation. I’m taking pictures of the things around me, everything from cornflakes packets to my tomato seedlings. I’m improving my composition despite being in lockdown.

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