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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 33. Light: Shadows

It is so easy to overlook shadows. We take them so much for granted that when they appear we see them more as a shadow than as a graphic element to be incorporated into our composition. Galen Rowell talks about this as pattern recognition; we see something familiar and our brain, from a lifetime of dismissing that thing as irrelevant, continues to dismiss it, and in the end we don’t really see it at all. Before we picked up a camera, how many of us ever had much cause to consider shadows important? It takes some retraining for our brain to begin seeing them, but retraining’s not hard. We see/perceive what is important to us, and the more important shadows are to you, the more you’ll see them. It’s the classic Red Car ...

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