The components of the word “photography” are Greek in origin. Photography quite literally means “to write with light.”  While light serves as noun, adjective, and verb for photographers, shadows complete their sentences in bold type. The qualities of light in a picture influence our perceptions of subjects by setting mood, revealing texture, and shading detail.  These qualities appear in countless varieties of light: the shaft of sunlight in a dark scene, the gentle bath of sidelight from a big window, the cold fade of dusk, the warm glow of a tungsten bulb or a late afternoon, the eerie pulse of an electronic screen, the candy splash of a neon sign, and the contrast of a backlit silhouette.  Shadows simplify, hide, and dramatize in an endless dance with illumination.  The pictures collected here are united not by theme, but by photographers writing with light. — Lane Turner (42 photos total)

A vendor prepares rice to be donated to the poor on a roadside in Islamabad, Pakistan on November 1, 2012. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

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