Shadows are the apparent yin to light's yang. Though, strictly speaking they are not the opposite or absence of light, as some details often can be seen lurking deep in the nooks and crannies of shadows. They are merely the blockage of light. I call their presence shadow light.
They can be as strong a force in photography as light itself. The same is true in painting. Think of a Rembrandt or a Caravaggio and you cannot help visualize inky shadows as well as light-sculpted faces and torsos.
In the world of dunescapes, shadows are integral to creating a well-crafted, compelling, and yes, beautiful composition. Without them scenes are flat and as lifeless as the desert appears. With those deep pools or dark rivulets the dunes come alive and speak of mystery and sensuousness. They create soft wells to sink your eyes into. Places to linger and wonder about. They add grace and form to shapes and lines otherwise commonplace. They create a balance and contrast that is both natural and otherworldly.
Shade for the mind; an oasis of respite.
As the principal of Clayhaus Photography, Jeff Clay, specializes in fine-art landscape, architecture, and travel images. He also does portrait and event photography as a partner in Perfect Light Studios. Finally, with a background in information technology and project management, as sole proprietor of Clayhaus Consulting, he works with non-profits and small businesses to help implement Internet and social media campaigns. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT with his wife, Bonnie, and their three wild and crazy retrievers.