Skip to content

Embracing Shadows

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
1 min read

It’s become very fashionable in the last decade or so to reveal what lurks in the shadows, now that cameras have the ability to do so.

What could be more boring?

The best storytelling leaves your mind open to fill in blanks with your deepest hopes and greatest fears.

It's why the original Halloween, with it's lack of backstory and senseless nature, was the most successful independent movie for a quarter century. It's why the movie's remake, filled with backstory and explanation, was a comparative flop.

Halloween was an homage to Hitchcock. Hitchcock had similar issues. His mastery of suspense left the viewer's mind wandering for the length of the story and wanting more. When he filled in blanks (see the end of Psycho), he left his audience wanting less.

The same is true of photography. Shadows can be a tool for good storytelling, when used sparingly. It's yet another reason to reconsider your HDR setting.