Friday, May 6, 2016

Photo Essay: Shadows.

“Shadow owes its birth to light”.
                                     John Gay
At first sight you could find the word “shadow” simple.

 We all know that it is
1) a dark shape that appears on a surface when someone or something moves between the surface and a source of light.

This definition is the common one.

A shadow can be the perfect shape of an object or it can be a slight suggestion of the original object, just a trace or hint of what is blocking the light.

“My quest, through the magic of light and shadow, is to isolate, to simplify, and to give emphasis to form with the greatest clarity”.
                                                Ruth Bernhard

 I find the shadows to be intriguing. 
Shadows add the mood to the image and help us to put depth in our images.
The play of light and shadows adds contrast and conflict to the image.
The subject could become the shadow in the form of a silhouette.

“Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows,
the light and dark which that thing provides.”
                                    Junichiro Tanizaki

The word “shadow” has several other meanings: 

2) an inseparable companion or follower;
This meaning is used not only for a detective or a spy.
Our own shadows are our companions too.
 Usually we don’t pay attention to our shadows. As for me, sometimes I like to capture my shadow.

3) an imperfect and faint representation;  an imitation of something;

It’s absolutely normal to look for inspiration from masters.
 But do not replicate someone else’s work.
 Just… steal, but steal like an artist.
(Steal like an artist, a book by Austin Kleon, will strike you with motivation).

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.”
                                                                    Jim Jarmusch

4) a period or instance of gloom, unhappiness, mistrust, doubt, dissension, or the like, as in friendship or one's life.

 I am learning to appreciate the shadows in my life. A shadow is not necessarily a bad thing, because it will point you in the direction of the light.

“Art teaches you the philosophy of life, and if you can't learn it from art, you can't learn it at all. It shows you that there is no perfection. There is light, and there is shadow. Everything is in half tint”. 
                                          William Morris Hunt

5) a dominant or pervasive threat, influence, or atmosphere, especially one causing gloom, fear, doubt, or the like.

Unfortunately many people live under the shadow of war nowadays…

6) shadow =influence
 shadow of somebody/something - the strong (usually bad) influence of somebody/something.

This definition touched me the deepest.
 The shadow as a pattern of who we are can fall on people around us and influence them positively or negatively.
I hope to cast the shadow that will be a positive influence on others.

I’m so grateful for each of you whether you read my articles or drop by now and then.
I hope that this blog Photohacks casts its own shadow on each reader…the shadow of inspiration, support and love.

"Because everything we say and do is the length and shadow of our own souls, our influence is determined by the quality of our being."  
                                               Dale Turner

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