I’ve taken a lot of shots all around the wonderful grounds of St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth. However, out of those hundreds of shots, this is one of my absolute favourites. Maynooth is always beautiful in autumn, but the light was extra nice when I got this shot, so it really sings.

This is also a very important shot in my development as a photographer. The very first lesson I learned when I started shooting with a DSLR was that the dynamic range is SMALL. This meant that I was constantly being surprised by how much darker shadows are in photographs than they seem while you’re there. After having loads of shots ruined by deep shadows I started to fear and avoid them. It was while I was trying to line up this shot that I had a brain-wave – maybe the key wasn’t to avoid shadows, but to be aware of them. Sure they can destroy a shot, but, if used carefully, they can add to a shot too! In this case, the shadows add interest to what would otherwise be a very bland foreground, as well as providing leading-lines to pull the viewers eye into the shot. This image will always have a place in my heart because it represents a real Eureka moment for me.

Autumn Shadows in Maynooth
on FlickrFull-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 18-55mm (D40 kit lens)
  • Exposure: 1/500 sec
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/11
  • ISO: 400
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority