Light Shadows

We all know that one of the basic things to consider while taking a photograph is light. Whether it’s natural light, available light, or controlled light (as with a studio setup), you have to learn to pay attention not only to how much light is available but also to where it’s positioned and where the shadows fall.

One aspect of light that fascinates me is the light that sometimes exists even in darkness. Whether it’s a dimly lit room or a lamp at night, even the darkest of corners can be illuminated if only a little bit.

copyright Shivani Shah

The photograph above was taken on a trip to Hong Kong in November 2010. After a long day of shopping, my friend and I (both caffeine addicts) found a Starbucks in Causeway Bay and were grateful to have the chance to rest and refuel over a good Americano. While we sat and sipped our coffees I happened to glance at the ceiling and saw these beautiful lamps. If you look really hard you can see the subtle shadows from the ‘nest’ pattern of the lamps on the ceiling.

Ever since that day at Starbucks I’ve made it a point to pay attention to lamps and other artificial light when I’m indoors. It paid off when I visited Sri Lanka a year later and saw some very cool (and very similar) lamps in a restaurant in Galle.

copyright Shivani Shah

It’s hard to miss these lamps, and the first thing I thought of when I saw them was the Hong Kong Starbucks. If only all indoor lighting was so pretty.

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