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Light and Shadow

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Published Jul 19, 2019 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 25 Contributors

    25 photos selected by

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Some places give nice pictures.a mosque in istanbul and the light entering was great

    #architecture #travel #natgeo #blackand_white

    Light’s incredible power to reveal or obscure details in a moment is what makes the medium of photography so fascinating to me. I love the mystery of the shadows and the storytelling moments in the light.

    This community pulled out all the stops for this challenge to observe how the light around them behaves. I love when light emerges as its own character in an image, bringing an entirely new dimension to the moment. Light gives us life, and sometimes there’s nothing better for the soul than a little beautiful light.

    I caught my partner’s shadow as we were warming up and getting ready for a tennis match in Puerto...

    Editor's Note

    The little sliver of your partner's arm adds the perfect sense of reality to their shadow that dominates the frame. I love that you kept the composition clean, without distractions of the rest of t... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A young girl adjusts her hair-band while standing in the protective shadow of her mother.

    #africa #girl #color #african #shadow #colour #pretoria #south_africa

    Editor's Note

    The tight framing of this portrait of a young lady while her hair is braided is gorgeous with the... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This view from coffee shop beside the road distance 10km from Sapa, LaoCai province, VietNam (Fam...

    #cherry_blossom #vietnam_landscape #vietnam_teahill

    Play of light and shadow on the streets of Kolkata.

    #yellow #light #shadow #street #taxi #kolkata

    The most beautiful girls are often the ones we refer to as "wallflowers". A pink background pops ...

    #flowers #pink #orchids

    Editor's Note

    Yes, yes, yes, Lizabeth! The pink background is stunning and immediately caught my eye. I love how the shadow in the background is its own character in the image in the way it's visually separated ... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I hope this assignment and the resulting story offer inspiration for the community to continue studying the light around them and finding new ways to make photographs. I've found that slowing down in a life is always a good exercise in patience. When photographers slow down is when the light presents itself, ready to be photographed. 

    Remember: Follow the light and the picture will come.

    Street photography in black and white. From level 13 of a hotel in Mamaia resort on the Black sea...

    #game #summer #light #football #shadow #ball #sport #cool #street #concept #minimalist #black_and_white

    Editor's Note

    You saw the shadow, the light, the boy and waited for the perfect moment to press your shutter. The boy connects the two realms of light and shadow beautifully in the way his torso is glowing again... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Galaxy SOHO by Zaha Hadid in Beijing, China. Taken on a sunny afternoon. The moon is real!

    Editor's Note

    The light and shadow have taken on a new life in the way the forms and patterns become abstracted... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I was sitting in the James Turrell installation taking a rest and waiting for my little son to co...

    #lightandshadow #jamesturrell #deyoung_museum #lightandshadow_assignment

    I was inside the mall and I notice how this girl passionately glides through the ice. Falling for...

    #orange #light #ice #shadow #sport #skating #passion #leisure

    Sunshine knitting the green leaves.

    #blue #green #light #leaves #shadow #space #sunshine #cross #rhythm

    Editor's Note

    I love that you described the light as "knitting" the green leaves because the first thing I thought of was how this looked like those paper weaving projects I did in elementary school. It's amazi... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    While walking from one exhibition hall to the next during an art fest we noticed how light create...

    #sunset #shadows #light #daughter #places #outdoor

    Editor's Note

    You saw the light, anticipated your daughter running through and made the most of the moment. I love that you froze her in between movements instead of choreographing a portrait. It's amazing that ... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A man is repairing jewelry on the side of the road in the city of Bandung, West Java, Indonesia

    #streetphotography #lightandshadow #unposed

    Editor's Note

    The shade hiding this man's head created a visual and comical mystery but that's what I love abou... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    We were dropped off by boat in one of the many fjords on Svalbard at 78° North. For almost two we...

    #mountains #light #shadow #arctic #skiing #svalbard

    What do he think when he sees the acorn that he has buried and forgotten sprouts?

    #squirrel #wildlife

    The Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is critically endangered due to the destruction of their h...

    #eyes #indonesia #wildlife #shadows #orangutan #borneo #wildphoto #bornean_orangutan #wildplanet

    Editor's Note

    I'm a bit of a moon child sometimes so my first instinct of this portrait was that the light looks like it's showing us a little bit of this orangutan's soul in its eyes. Your use of light to highl... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This picture was taken in one of the cathedrals in Nazaré, Portugal. We went through the rays of ...

    #dark #church #light

    Editor's Note

    This portrait stopped me in my tracks. The way the sparkles on her face emulate the catchlight in... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Downtown Honolulu has a handful of interesting buildings and while I enjoy Honolulu, I do enjoy m...

    #city #architecture #urban #shadow

    While walking through the streets of Kyoto, I sensed a gentleman tracking me with his eyes. After...

    #people #travel #japan #street #pagoda #kyoto

    Light always changes and moves around and I am a big fan of observing the light and shadows aroun...

    #shadows #light #portrait #selfportrait #self #summertime #lightandshadow #selflove

    Editor's Note

    The way the light she is standing is mirrors the light from outside the house is stunning. it feels like an abstraction is the way the light is playing around this portrait and I love it. Great wor... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This photo was taken when the sun was still high. The pool was dark from the shadows of a tree an...

    #fullsun #pocketoflight #poolshot

    Editor's Note

    Wow, her eyes absolutely glow in the light! Pockets of light are so fun to play with and I love that you made the most of it in the pool with the glowing blue in the background that brings her eyes... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A man's reason of Despair remains unknown to the WORLD. The needs of Every man ,his alluring vibe...

    #indiamanrayssadness

    Editor's Note

    This is a beautifully tender portrait, Debmalya. His expression, body language and the way the li... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Repairing of tent which was damaged because of a storm .these two employe are hanging curtain pro...

    #shadow #street #natgeo #paople #dailydozen #yourshot #topshot

    6.03am as the sun began rising on a crisp and fresh morning in the Mara...

    #lioness #blur #shadow #sunrise #whiskers

    I've found the easiest way to learn about light and shadow is by using one hard, single light, th...

    #light #shadow

    Editor's Note

    This is the sun's world, we're just living in it. The long sliver of light breaking up the shadow is stunning in this moment. My only nitpick is that the pane of glass is going right through the pe... More

    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot

    About the Editor
    Kristen McNicholas
    Associate Photo Editor, Nat Geo Your Shot
    Kristen is an Associate Photo Editor with the Your Shot team. She interned at the White House Photo Office under the Obama Administration as well as Education Week. A proud RIT alumna, dessert enthusiast and Finger Lakes, NY native, Kristen is excited to guide your photographic journey!

    Photographers Published In the Story