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In the Shadows

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Published Oct 7, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 27 Contributors

    27 photos selected by

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Shadows of Chicago tall buildings.

    #winter #building #il #shadow #chicago #michiganlake #johnhancockbuilding

    When it comes time to edit images as a photographer or curator, it can be a battle. It starts with staring at a mountain of images that loom over you—over 13,000 for this assignment. As I stared at the screen on my laptop, I wondered how I was going to make a story out of them. Although I was in a room alone, it felt very crowded, as I was taking into account my thoughts and opinions as well as those of my co-workers. I second-guessed myself a lot. Images got knocked out of the editing process, then brought back in later when I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them. Eventually I wanted to crawl into a ball and look away from the screen. No puns intended here, but this assignment followed me like my own shadow. I thought about some of my favorite images while I rode the Metro into the work, while I ate dinner, and while I tried to read a new book from the comfort of my apartment. As an editor, you need to just take a deep breath, slowly let it out, and decide that you have the final decision-making power. So, here we are: the 27 final images.

    A Japanese businessman makes his way across the patterned flooring of a boardwalk in downtown Yok...

    #yokohama #pattern #shadow #tokyo #street #black__and_white

    Editor's Note

    Perfect timing with this frame, Peter. A nice composition that places the subject in-between the patterns works well and gives off a feeling being alone. A man with his own thoughts on his way to h... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This is the last chance to take a photo of what once was my son's room. As he left I kept it like...

    #ngmadventure #lowlight #shadows #plane #photooftheday #love #followme #people #places

    Editor's Note

    I love the story behind this image. Composing the plane near the digital numbers was a great idea. The numbers remind us how quickly things can change and the shadow of the model plane gives me a s... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I had passed by this space earlier and the walls were bare, then later in the day the light passe...

    #shadows #black_and_white #architecture #portraits #linestexturesandpatterns #intheshadows

    Editor's Note

    I'm drawn into the abstract look of this image with the shadow of the lines falling over this fra... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    People watching at the local night market on the pier.

    #summernightmarkets #shadows #100daysofsummer

    Editor's Note

    This moment is so cool here. I keep coming back to check out this image because I really enjoy the interaction of your subjects with the shadows around them. Great timing with the shutter and beaut... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    It was a split-second shot to capture the shadow outlining the graceful curve of this giraffe's n...

    #shadow #long_neck #zoo #animal #giraffe

    Editor's Note

    I love the curiosity that is happening here. The giraffe bending it's neck as it's shadow follows... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    At one point, the self-portrait became more than just a portrait of myself. I started to look bey...

    #self_portait #black_and_white

    Editor's Note

    Excellent moment here, Felicia. There is a lot of childlike wonder happening here. I keep going back and forth with the subject and the mimicking shadow. Sometimes putting things in the dead center... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Using the shadow to add to the story in this photo I did for a theatre company in Sheffield.

    #shadows

    Editor's Note

    The shadow and how you composed the subject in the foreground adds some interesting storytelling layers. I wonder what the story is and what is happening in this scene. I love the low angle you dec... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    In this photo, I was shooting this man when two shadows appeared inside shadow of door. This shot...

    #gurdwara #punjab #reflection #indian #shadow #amritsar #guru #sikh #india

    Editor's Note

    I definitely agree with your title here, Serge. Calling this reflections of the past. I wonder if... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This picture has inspired me to tell a story of my dearest friend. Several years ago when she wa...

    #abstrac_picture #autum_colours #autum_begins #experience #memories #shadows_and_colors

    one of my street shots.

    #streetphotography #letsexplore #ngmadventure #shadows #light #natgeoinspires #blackandwhite

    I noticed how bright that sun was shining at the end of the day in our backyard through the trees...

    #jennifertonettispellman #shadows #pregnant #family

    Editor's Note

    I'm reminded of Sally Mann's work when I see this. This feels like you have captured innocence of... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A simple pleasure that never failed to make us happy! (from the series childhood memories)

    #swing #child #feet #natgeoinspires #shadow #blackandwhite #childhood #playground

    Editor's Note

    This is a really great capture, Gloria. I love how you composed this image and how you lined up the child's feet at the top of the frame and its shadow in the background. I have many memories of sw... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    High school students in Oskartröm, Sweden, during p.e class. Today´s lesson is ice skating. Shot ...

    #winter #ice #shadows #abstract #skating #aerial #people

    Editor's Note

    I keep staring at this image as I study the scene of each skater on the ice. First, taking an aerial photo of this scene is a great idea. It's a different perspective that really works, watching ea... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Nyakan Timbek, a senior cheerleader at Omaha Bryan, shields her eyes from the sun while her teamm...

    #cheerleader #sports #cheerleading #nebraska #football #goldenhour

    Editor's Note

    I love that the shadows are surrounding your subject. You start to wonder where the shadows are coming from and I love that you caught each one in the act of doing a cheer while the subject stands ... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I printed and cut out letters then attached to a piece of glass. Assistants (wife and daughter) ...

    #ngmcreate_3 #ngmcreate #natgeoinspires #shadow #ngmcreate_2 #blackandwhite #ngmcreate_1

    Editor's Note

    Nice idea, Mike. When I saw this image I was reminded of lyric by the band Nada Surf. "Maybe this weight was a gift, like I had to see what I could lift." The shadow of the word looks like it's etc... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Old man on the bus station

    #wrinkles #man #shadows #light #dots #shadow #old #portrait

    Editor's Note

    The expression you captured here in his face is perfect. I'm wondering what was going through his mind as you took this image. The shadow from the bus stop blankets his face and you get a moody fee... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    ..when the light creeps in.

    #shadows #profile

    Editor's Note

    There's a certain calm feeling I get from this image. The small shadows that are resting upon the... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    In this picture, a woman in body-paint poses in front of a crowd to show off her work during Daeg...

    #bodypainting #shadows #daegu #shadow #blackandwhite #southkorea #travel #korea

    Editor's Note

    The shadow in this image is taking on a life of it's own. I love it! You already have an interesting subject in front of your lens and of course with an interesting subject standing in front of a l... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Flamingo at the Los Angeles Zoo - the shadows cast across the flamingo come from the fence nearby.

    #bird #shadow #portrait #zoo #animal #nature

    Editor's Note

    I love how we are focused on the eye in this image. A Zoo can sometimes be a tough place to photograph in, the animals either look bored or sad. This image however doesn't give me those feelings, I... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I saw the shadow of the tree on the wall and waited for someone to walk by. I waited 5 minutes or...

    #bw #streetphotography #shadows #streetphotography_assignment #abstract #birds

    Editor's Note

    The shadow of the tree with the added shadows of the bird flying by work so well together in this... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This is the promenade in Ascona, Switzerland by the Lago maggiore. This picture was taken against...

    #shadows #light #ascona #promenade #morning #lakes #places

    Editor's Note

    Sometimes a blown out sky in the background can work against a photo. This is a different case here, I actually like how you are photographing into the direction of the sun with the shadow of the t... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    At afternoon time in dhaka people start returning home from there works.But as for the guards its...

    #light #guard #shadow #life #golden

    Venezia, 2016

    #streetphotography #shadow #venezia #street #venice

    A boy transfer ball to another boy during their playing at Ganga Sagar, West Bengal, India. Shot ...

    #play #playing #kids #virtual #transitions #children #india #reality

    Editor's Note

    I love the interaction that is happening here. In one of my earlier editor's updates I talked about trying to capture shadows interacting with our world, this is a great example of that happening. ... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Street photo

    #bw #shadow #kids #street

    Editor's Note

    Great moment here, Vedrana. I love that both kids and their shadows are holding hands walking awa... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Photos from mu project 365 Days of Light and Shadows

    #light #street_photography #shadow #street

    Editor's Note

    This image has such a cool mood to it. First, I love the light that is pouring in from the window with the lace curtain in front of it. It's giving off this green hue that your subject is walking t... More

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    There were many images I did not want to let go. This community is filled with very creative photographers who, even when tasked with photographing shadows, went above and beyond what was expected. You gave me images of animals studying their shadows, buildings looming over a city, kids playing in the streets, and the aerial view of an ice rink. I asked you to think about composition and layering in your images and you did just that. You tilted your cameras, got low, and broke the rule of thirds to try and capture interesting images of shadows. Thanks for making this such a fun assignment to curate. It’s a battle to try to get through such a large edit and it can go two different ways. Either all the images aren’t up to par and you are frustrated by trying to make a story out of nothing, or all of the images are just so great that you actually feel sad when you have to cut a few away. This edit was definitely the latter for me. Thanks for the submissions and conversation!

    About the Editor
    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
    Matt is a Producer on the Your Shot team.. He curates and produces the Daily Dozen gallery as well as monthly assignments. Before Nat Geo, Matt was a photography instructor and freelance photographer working for publications such as Wired, Spin, and Pittsburgh Magazine. Currently located in DC, but Pittsburgh is ...

    Photographers Published In the Story