Gallery: looking out from the shadows
In photography, there are no shadows that cannot be illuminatedAugust Sander
Who hasn’t explored a building, maybe an impressive fortress or palace, and had one of those ‘wow’ moments as you emerge from the darkness of the building to an arch or window revealing the lightness outside?
I’ve talked recently about the compositional possibilities of framing in photography. In recent years I have become attracted to the specific framing possibilities offered by arches and openings in various buildings I have been privileged to visit around the world. Through these features we can look from a place of relative darkness into the light beyond. Or maybe the opening will let the light spill into our space, inviting us out? I like the drama of shadows contrasting with these lighter places; so much so that I’ve been known to boost the contrast when editing, or perhaps add a vignette to darken the outer edges of the image.
So (belatedly) for Terri’s Sunday Stills ‘Emerging’ theme, and for Patti’s Lens Artists ‘Light and Shadow’ theme, I’d like to share some favourite shots, taken in that style.
Looking out through Hathi Pol (the Elephant Gate) of Bundi Palace; I was lucky to spot this local man enjoying the early morning light. In editing I darkened the shadows further to create this silhouette.
This is the view Shah Jahan would have had from his private palace, the Khas Mahal, at Agra Fort.
Looking out from the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) in Amber Fort near Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The view of Udaipur from a window in the City Palace.
A view of the central courtyard of the Kalon Mosque in Bukhara, taken from the entrance; this is the largest mosque in Uzbekistan.
Another view of the courtyard of the Kalon Mosque; the central octagonal pavilion is a 19th century addition designed to improve the acoustics and amplify the voice of the Imam as he delivers his Friday sermon.
A much more modern mosque, the Grand Mosque in Salalah, Oman.
Our guide waits for us in the next room of the ruins of Telouet, in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Inside the atmospheric Medersa Ali Bin Youssef in Marrakesh, a former Koranic school offering a rare opportunity to see inside a traditional religious building (mosques and active medersas being off-limits).
In the Palais de la Bahia, Marrakesh, looking out at one of the leafy courtyards from the part known as the small riad (small being a relative term!)
Still in Marrakesh, this is another leafy courtyard in the Musee Dar Si Said, its vivid greens glowing as you emerge from the dimmer interior on a hot day.
Looking out at the gardens of the Palazzo Pfanner in Lucca on a dull rainy day; you can see two people walking on the city walls beyond the garden.
A very different view, looking out at the Mekong River from the Pak Ou Caves in Laos.
Here a shaft of sunlight falls on a Buddha statue in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, hinting at the light outside.
And to finish, a quotation that is very apposite for our times:
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.Desmond Tutu
100 Country Trek
This a wonderful layout ..Such fascinating site and beautiful images.
Thank you 😊 I use the background block to create this layout
Loved this post. I too am drawn to those images beyond a romantic framing. I have some from Marrakech as well, including the school.
Thanks so much Ruth! Marrakesh is perfect for this sort of thing – I had many more shots than I could sensibly use here 😆
Beautiful response to the light and shadow challenge Sarah! My favorite is your banner photo. I love that it has several layers of pillars drawing the viewer into the landscape. Great work.
Thank you Anne 🙂 That top photo was taken at Ranakpur, a Jain temple in Rajasthan. I’ve already posted about it and used that photo but I couldn’t resist including it again here!
These are amazing shots, Sarah. They draw the viewer in so much that I felt as though I was standing next to you at the time. You capture the very essence of the places, framing them perfectly. I’ve tried to do similar things looking out of castle windows and doorways, but the absence of such shots on my site will tell you I never get the results I was hoping for. 🙁 I wish I had your talent, but as I haven’t I’m more than happy to admire your wonderfully evocative work instead!
You are far too kind Alli, but thank you 😊 Do persist in trying yourself – the castles you visit are perfect for this sort of thing! A tip – expose for the scene beyond, not the frame, otherwise it will be washed out and disappointing. In any case your talent really is in your writing, especially bringing history to life!
Oh thank you so much, Sarah, that’s a lovely thing to say! 🙂 And thanks for the tip. I’ll keep trying, but I guess you can’t be good at everything, so I’ll take the very kind writing praise. Thanks again. 🙂
Quite few nice frames, Sarah, especially the ones from Marrakesh😊
Thank you Christie – Marrakesh is a fruitful place for this sort of architecture 🙂
Never heard of leading lines before so this was extremely interesting. I’ve always been intrigued HOW you access particular photos from the zillions you must have taken in all your travels that you then include in your challenges?
Thanks Annie 🙂 To be honest there’s no real system for finding these. I have folders with just the best (or better) images from each trip so I’m never searching through ALL those zillions! But mostly it’s a matter of half-remembered shots or places, or of simply scrolling through folders of thumbnails in locations I think are likely to produce good examples. E.g. for this post I knew my best examples were likely to be in more eastern countries, and Marrakesh, so that’s where I looked. The Lucca image I spotted while looking for something completely different!
Thanks for answering as it always amazes me you see to find the perfect shot for each challenge! I am in awe of your memory and organized thumbnails so you can access them “easily”!
I trained as a librarian so I know how to keep files reasonably organised 😆
I’m in awe with these photos, Sarah. Light and shadow images are beautifully framed. the Elephant Gate, an amazing shot!!
Thank you for taking us there through your lens.
Thank you so much Amy 😊 I’m very glad you liked them. I lucked out with the Elephant Gate – I turned to look over my shoulder and that guy was just taking his seat on the parapet!
Thank you for sharing!
Superb selection of travel photos, Sarah – very, very impressive. My favorites were of the Kalon Mosque in Bukhara. Thanks for taking us on a trip to fascinating lands.
Thank you Annie 😊 I loved Bukhara, one of the most atmospheric cities I’ve ever visited!
I absolutely agree! We loved it, too.
Love your aroundtheworld framing, Sarah! Excellent idea and photography.
Thank you very much Ann Christine 🙂
Some really beautiful images this week Sarah. The thing I most enjoyed was all of the beautiful shapes of the openings you chose, rather than the views beyond. Some stunning examples of architecture around the world.
Thanks Tina – yes, the arches and windows themselves are beautiful, even seen in the shadows 🙂
Oh, the Places We See
Sarah, you’ve outdone yourself! So many great places to visit . . . so many great shots from your vantage point. Excellent examples for this challenge!
Aw, thank you 😊 Yes indeed, so many great places! I’m sure you’ve been to some at least of these?
I like this concept. So cool. Love all of these photos.
Thanks Kristin, glad you liked it 🙂
So creative to use the many styles of door and window frames to highlight the subject, and to emphasize the light and shadow component of the images as well. Good work!
Thank you John, I appreciate the compliment!
Many beautiful frames here Sarah, with good examples of light and shadow. I really like the last image too. And I love the Musee Dar Si Said courtyard, not necessarily for the light, but because it looks so pretty! I would love a courtyard like that.
Ooh yes, that would be a beautiful courtyard to own and enjoy!
Such great examples, Sarah. My fave are the Marrakesh photos!
Thank you Teresa 🙂 I love Marrakesh architecture, so beautifully worked and so atmospheric!
Aletta - nowathome
Your photos are amazing Sarah! The contrasts are fantastic!
Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked these photos 😊😊
The framing really does accentuate the contrast between light and shadow. Great idea. It’s hard to get the light just right in those situations, but you did a great job. We spent an hour at the Palazzo Pfanner a few years ago. What a wonderful spot!
Thank you Patti, I appreciate your kind words – and thanks too for the interesting challenge theme! I loved the Palazzo Pfanner, both house and gardens 🙂
Me, too. I loved it. And thanks for your kind words, too.
These are rather nice Sarah – a photo with a natural frame. I especially like the colourful one in Marrakesh (and the way the colour is reflecting on the floor).
Thanks, yes, I liked that reflection too. There are so many gorgeous buildings in Marrakesh!
Framing does give great light and shadows. Great photos and a wonderful journey thanks Sarah 🙂 🙂
Thank you Brian, glad you enjoyed the virtual tour!
Sublime photos Sarah! I love these type of scenes. Got a few good ones at the Alhambra, that was a magical place!
Thanks Anna – I’ve never been to the Alhambra but would love to see it some day!
Oh my you haven’t been? I can’t believe it! I think you would love it! It definitely left a lasting impression on me!
We haven’t seen a lot of Spain tbh – Seville last year was our first visit for some time and apart from that we’ve only been to Barcelona (football) and Torremolinos (VT meet with Lori and Hansi). We need to do more!
What beautiful views.
Thank you 🙂
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these, Sarah! Some brilliant images,I’m partial to looking out of the shadows myself, but I’ve never done as well as you!
Aw, thanks so much Sue, that’s really nice of you 😊
Maria Vincent Robinson
Beautiful series of frames, Sarah. Love them 👌
Thank you, I appreciate the feedback 🙂
Your Header is sublime, Sarah, and I love the silhouette at Bundi Palace too. I really love this kind of shot and you’ve been in some great places to take them.
Thank you Jo 😊 The header was taken in India too, at Ranakpur (I should have mentioned that somewhere in the text!) I have used it previously in my post about that temple (https://www.toonsarah-travels.blog/chaumukha-mandir-the-four-faced-temple-of-ranakpur/) but I thought it was worth ‘recycling’ here. It was an amazing place to visit, full of peaceful atmosphere and with lots of views like this, leading you on through the complex.
100 Country Trek
Amazing selection of these images . Thanks Sarah
Thank you so much 😊
Terri Webster Schrandt
What a great way to capture two challenges, Sarah! I love the architecture, landscapes and other treats emerging from your frames. Excellent examples for both prompts. Just curious, did you use the block editor (media + text) to display and comment on your images, or does your theme do that? I like how that looks 🙂
Thank you Terri, glad you feel this was worth the wait 😊 Yes, I use the ‘media and text block’. I change the size of the text part from large to medium so that it looks less like a title. In some of my posts I alternate it with standard image blocks but I realised all my images for this gallery were portrait format (perhaps unsurprisingly) I also use the ‘background’ block and colour it black to make the images in most of my galleries stand out.
I’ll probably skip this Sunday’s challenge. I started to sort some photos for aqua/teal and realised I used most of them for jade 🤣
Terri Webster Schrandt
Thanks, Sarah. You did a nice job with the block. I like using that one, but I never thought about changing the background on the text :/ Well, if you get motivated to share something next week, you always can 🙂
What a brilliant selection Sarah. Many thanks for taking us on that virtual trip of light and shade.
Thank you Yvonne 😘
Wow. GREAT selections. I like that way of shooting. I do that sometimes. Well done by you!
Thank you John, glad you liked them 😊 I appreciate the prompt feedback too!
I love that so many of the frames themselves are interesting without the standard rectangle shape. Maggie
Thanks Maggie – I only just spotted this under John’s comment so I’ve been a bit slow to acknowledge it! Yes, there are some interesting shapes in these arches etc. Did you spot the elephant trunks in the first one?!