Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Shades and Shadows

This week, Ann-Christine challenges us to consider shade and shadow and how we might use it in our photographic compositions. She writes, “Time for a simple, but hopefully enjoyable challenge for this week โ€“ Shades and Shadows. As the weather is fairly hot over here now, you can guess why I chose this theme. Of course, it can be interpreted less literally, but as always you are free to surprise us!” You can read her entire challenge post here.

For my opening photo, from the north side of Kauai, Hawaii, Ke’e Beach welcomes a couple walking along the beach with the mysterious Na Pali coastline in the background. I don’t usually think of creative names for my images, but making an assumption, I call this image “Beach Lovers.” The shadows of the large trees at the beach edge adds a bit of mystery and privacy to the couple.

Cadillac Classic-1

At Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, many of the cars are parked underneath large canvas awnings while awaiting sale or pick up by a buyer. Spectators like me get to walk among the classic cars. The shade of he awning didn’t quite cover this entire 1950s era Cadillac. The shadow of the edge of the awning put the car in the shade but accentuated the bold front end highlighting all of that beautiful chrome grill and bumper. A black-and-white conversion was completed in Silver Efex 2.


On a cruise ship to Alaska, on a route known as the Inland Passage, a heavy cloud cover put the nearby islands and part of the sea in shade. Openings in the clouds let those sun rays light up the ocean providing a dramatic image, especially after a trip through Silver Efex 2, my go to program for black-and-white conversions.


Sometimes photographers can use the shade to their advantage by lowering the exposure to create a silhouette effect. With programs like Adobe Lightroom, it’s easy to create a silhouette in post production. I had used the camera’s exposure meter to set the original exposure to properly expose the rock face and details of the climber. However when I got the image into Lightroom, I brought the exposure down to remove most of the detail in the shadows leaving a silhouette.

Island Shadows-1

For my final image, I headed back to that archive of images captured on our Alaska cruise in 2014 and found another image of sun rays breaking through the layer of clouds. Having recently noticed that there is an upgrade available for the Nik Collection of software, I decided to do another Silver Efex 2 monochrome conversion with version 3 of the software. In addition to the conversion to monochrome, I added a sepia tone and vintage frame effect. I am now tempted to upgrade to the new Nik Collection 4.

Thanks again to Ann-Christine for another fun challenge this week. As soon as I finish this post and schedule it for publication on Thursday, I will check YouTube for some reviews of the Nik Collection 4 to see what’s new.

just a reminder that clicking on any of the images above will take you to my Flickr album featuring the photos from this post. Many of my older images are HD quality (1024 pixels on the long side), but one advantage of Flickr is that I have the storage capacity to provide higher resolution images for viewing. My newest standard is a 2k image (2048 on the long side), and a few like Beach Lovers are saved in 4k format. Click on either of those two images once you are in the Flickr gallery, and you’ll get a full resolution view if your display supports it. If you have an HD monitor, you’ll still get the higher resolution view, but you will need to “scroll” around the image to see all parts of it.

John Steiner


  1. Great shots John, and as always I appreciate the commentary about your editing processes. I’ve been wondering about Nik Collection 4 myself and seen one broadly positive review, so I’ll be interested in your feedback should you decide to get it.

  2. Love the photo of the climber at Garden of the Gods. This past time always intrigued me. Not sure itโ€™s something I ever wanted to do, But I do love watching them. Donna.

  3. Excellent – but how to expect less than that from you? The Alaska shots are just gorgeous, and of course…the Cadillac too.

  4. Terrific examples John. Especially loved the car – very creative! I’m with you re considering the new Nik update. Let me know you like it if you go ahead with it.

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