made in shade

Made in the Shade

 “Today, everything exists to end in a photograph” Susan Sontag

This is even truer today in the world of social media. With the birth of photography, people could experience  images in multiple places and ways for the first time. Then, TV expanded the possibility of simultaneously sharing images throughout cultures and sometimes the whole world. Today online, we post our real and imagined experiences  in photos and videos. We have the power to fabricate “our image” through photography. In essence, we have become our own publicity machines.  If thinking about being a publicist 24/7  makes you yearn for a nap, see previous posts that mention naps as an alternative to photography.

Flattering Portraits often “Made in the Shade”

“If you look like your passport photo, in all probability you need the holiday” Earl Wilson

Not All Shade Is Created Equal

Boy Looking for Shade
Boy Looking for Shade
  • Don’t shoot under a tree: Sun will come through the tree and make blotchy patches on your subject. It may also create a greenish cast.

  • Find a building with neutral walls because colored ones can cast unwanted color onto your subject

  • Position your subject facing the brightest light in the shade

  • Blur the wall background with a wide aperture or set your camera on portrait mode

    Pay Phone Dog
    Pay Phone Dog

As you can see in the these portraits, I didn’t follow the rules of good portraiture.  Personally,  I only like to make portraits  to show place and context. There are some excellent sites with good outdoor portrait examples, just Google portraits in the shade.


A student recently excitedly told me how she couldn’t wait to visit the place in Yellowstone that  she  showed me on her smartphone. It was a professional photograph of a Yellowstone Geyser Pool shot from a private plane and heavily saturated in a photo editing program, plus it had the advantage of being back lit on her phone. I felt bad for her knowing that the real place couldn’t possibly compete with the photograph.

“So successful has been the camera’s role in beautifying the world, that photographs, rather then the world, have become the standard of the beautiful.  Susan Sontag


 Rich Colors Found in the Shade

Visit next Friday for photo-tips on shooting indoors without a flash or tripod


Enjoy the 1962 performance by George Lewis and his band playing “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”

Copyright © 2013, M. Hutchison