Photographer’s Shadow – Integrating Light and Shadow

The Photographer's Shadow

The Photographer’s Shadow © 2011 Bo Mackison

Arizona is working out well. Mostly. I love the new places to explore, the challenge, and of course, I love the sunny skies and the warm weather.

But once in awhile I feel like I’m living under a shadow.

One needs both light and shadow to make a photograph. All light and the scene will be over-exposed and all white. Nothing visible. All shadow, and the photograph would be underexposed, the scene dark, the shapes and figures indistinguishable.

Photographs are a combination of light and shadow. Life is a combination of light and shadow, too.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is living in Tucson for two months, exhibiting her photography in art shows, taking photographs, and blogging about photography, art fairs, and living life “solo.”  Even learning how to adapt to life’s ups and downs is a worthwhile adventure.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. So true.

    I love your shadowy self-portrait, Bo. It’s one of those photos that seems to want to tell a story, about an adventure of some kind.

  2. You are making the most of your stay in Tucson Bo! Will you be there for the spring display of wildflowers in the desert? It should be especially pretty this year.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      It’s not going to be a good year for any flowers. The very hard freeze they experienced a few weeks ago–down to 10˚ in some places, not only ruined the flower possibilities, it has killed or damaged many cacti and other frost-intolerant plants. It’s heartbreaking to see the damage in some places, and no one will know the full extent of the damage for possibly 3-4 years.

      So since I haven’t too many blooms to photograph, I am working on patterns and compositions of the plants.

  3. Richard says:

    Beautiful image Bo… full of mystery. What a wonderful opportunity you have in these two months of living in the desert for self-exploration. You’re truly blessed.


  4. Yes. Perfectly said. I envy you this adventure. Remarkable.

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