8/28/10

On Shadows and Simple Beauty

Lately I’ve been finding a lot of shadows in my photography travels. They’re always there, but we tend to see the foreground of things~ a flower, a leaf or a bird, and the rest is sort of a backdrop. Yet shadows have just as much character and movement as the real thing; swaying in the wind or flying underfoot. They are mysterious, giving you only the necessary details of a dark silhouette. The sun decides the length and angle of their reach, and the objects that they stretch out upon determine their texture and topography.

BW shadow serrated

BW Shadow flower

BW shadow leaf

BW shadowwhite spring flowers

I have finally gotten my hands on a copy of a book by John Muir, The Mountains of California. It is a bit of a heavy read, as he was a bit of an intense observer, with an incredible attention to geographic detail. It is a lot of information to take in, but he describes it all with such poetic beauty. I find myself wishing high school textbooks could have captured my attention the same way. There is a beautiful paragraph on the transformative power of glaciers, and how they are made of tiny snowflakes (or snow-flowers, as he refers to them):

“Come, we are feeble; let us help one another. We are many, and together we will be strong.” 

John Muir book

2 comments:

  1. Hats off to you for devouring such a book! I read a book once by a travel essayist about Acadia National Park that took my breath away- something about the words and the scenery he created in my mind were almost as powerful as being there to experience it (almost!)
    Love your B&W work- have you ever tried a plug-in like alienskin or nik software?
    I did once do a trial and my monotone work came to life!

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  2. Exquisite images, Cait. I love the quiet observation and gentle poetry in each one. Muir would have loved them. Fabulous image of the passage from the book, too. – g

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