Color of shadows and reflections

Another major difference between the color of shadows and reflections is that a reflection usually contains a lot of color, mainly coming from the object that is being reflected e.g. the side of a boat. This reflected color will be influenced by the color of the water doing the reflecting.

Can you also see how the reflection of the lit side of the boat is darker than the actual side  which is being reflected whereas the reflection of the side in shade (the left hand side) is a little bit lighter than what it is reflecting. This is caused by the fact that reflections of an object combine with the local color of the water that is doing the reflecting.

Boat and Building Reflections Cornwall

Figure 8: Reflections of boats and buildings showing color

Shadows however primarily have the local color of the object upon which the shadow is thrown e.g. the sand, wall, ground, water, etc. This can be seen in figure 9.

Color of shadows made up of local colors

Figure 9: The color of shadows is made up of local colors

The color of shadows is also influenced by reflected light which can add to the local color of the shadow area.

Reflected color of shadows. Many colors of reflected light on sand

Figure 10: Reflected color in shadows

Can you see how the shadow on the sand is primarily a dark version of the sand color i.e. color of sand with less light on it. However there is also a very strong reflected light from the beach huts within the shadow areas. These reflected lights are very important to make you shadows more real and interesting.

I hope this article has been of use to you. It by no means covers the topics of reflections and shadows exhaustively but was meant to highlight some points I have often found people have difficulty with.