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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> The shadows are wrong
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06/25/2021 06:16:33 PM · #1
So this came up on 1x:

I was trying to figure out the lighting, and realized the shadows were wrong. There's no shadow from the chair or the picture.

photo

It's a fascinating photo, but I'm curious what you think
06/25/2021 06:48:25 PM · #2
A very similar issue to this image that is included in one of the demo collages we have for printing at trade shows. I can't bring myself to use it because of the bad errors in the lighting and shadows. But I've shown it to some coworkers, including another photographer and they haven't noticed it. Do you?
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1262483.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/80000-84999/83313/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1262483.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

The climber is wearing the belts and carabiners for climbing, but I see no safety lines attached. But that's another issue to nitpick over.

Message edited by author 2021-06-25 18:51:09.
06/25/2021 06:58:48 PM · #3
How is there light coming in on the face and the inside of the right arm when the sun is behind him/her?

But I am curious if there's a separate light source, only because there's a rim light on the underside of the arm and the underside of the leg. You don't normally get that if you're just trying to lighten part of the photo... So it's a little confusing, actually.
06/25/2021 07:00:56 PM · #4
actually, in looking at it more, I'm even more confused. Look at the position of the feet. If you have a foot holding bracing you against the rock, the foot would be bended more and in greater contact with the surface. They could have been pushing themselves out a bit to swing somewhere, but it doesn't look like it.

Am I wrong?
06/25/2021 10:19:07 PM · #5
Originally posted by vawendy:

So this came up on 1x:

I was trying to figure out the lighting, and realized the shadows were wrong. There's no shadow from the chair or the picture.

photo

It's a fascinating photo, but I'm curious what you think

I see a shadow on the wall for the chair. It's much lighter and faint. I think the chair is farther from the wall than the person. The picture - that may be above the line of light?
06/25/2021 10:32:14 PM · #6
Originally posted by vawendy:

actually, in looking at it more, I'm even more confused. Look at the position of the feet. If you have a foot holding bracing you against the rock, the foot would be bended more and in greater contact with the surface. They could have been pushing themselves out a bit to swing somewhere, but it doesn't look like it.

Am I wrong?

I think most of the time inappropriate shadows indicate a careless composite.

I found this old thread with links to some articles on forensic photography, but the links seem dead (maybe they can be found at the Internet Archive?) ... :-(
06/25/2021 10:32:54 PM · #7
Originally posted by vawendy:

How is there light coming in on the face and the inside of the right arm when the sun is behind him/her?

But I am curious if there's a separate light source, only because there's a rim light on the underside of the arm and the underside of the leg. You don't normally get that if you're just trying to lighten part of the photo... So it's a little confusing, actually.


Exactly. I'm pretty sure it is a composite. Lots of details are wrong. But that light on the face of the cliff when it should be backlit drives me nuts.
06/26/2021 09:30:12 AM · #8
In Wendy’s image, it looks like the light source is front left and the photographer is front right. I am not sure, but if the photographer was centered rather than right the shadows would be even and the composition better (hope that makes sense).
06/26/2021 10:27:38 AM · #9
most shots like this use multiple lights including lights on the backdrop that eliminate shadows. We're "used to" that so it doesn't seem weird. I think what's off about this is that she has a very dark pronounced shadow but the chair does not. It's simple enough to achieve but doesn't "look" right.
06/26/2021 11:03:15 AM · #10
Originally posted by posthumous:

most shots like this use multiple lights including lights on the backdrop that eliminate shadows. We're "used to" that so it doesn't seem weird. I think what's off about this is that she has a very dark pronounced shadow but the chair does not. It's simple enough to achieve but doesn't "look" right.


It's not actually that simple -- everything is a little too close together. The light that would eliminate the chair shadow would have to be pretty bright, and if they had flagged it, there still would be some stranger lines in places. And the angle of the light in the doorway doesn't seem to match the angle of the light on the person, as well.

It's beautiful and intriguing, but still seems off.
06/26/2021 11:06:39 AM · #11
Originally posted by vawendy:

Originally posted by posthumous:

most shots like this use multiple lights including lights on the backdrop that eliminate shadows. We're "used to" that so it doesn't seem weird. I think what's off about this is that she has a very dark pronounced shadow but the chair does not. It's simple enough to achieve but doesn't "look" right.


It's not actually that simple -- everything is a little too close together. The light that would eliminate the chair shadow would have to be pretty bright, and if they had flagged it, there still would be some stranger lines in places. And the angle of the light in the doorway doesn't seem to match the angle of the light on the person, as well.

It's beautiful and intriguing, but still seems off.


well it might be a combo of lessening the shadow behind the chair with a spotlight (notice there's a glare where some of that shadow should be) and working it even more in Photoshop.

Of course, it could be a composite as well. Almost all shots like this seem "off" to me so it's hard for me to tell.
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