Catching a Shadow

In a previous post I wrote about the genesis of the Urban Reflections arising out of an observation while waiting.  I have found that this is a common scenario.  Many an artistic project begins with unstructured time and awareness of my environment.  Mindfulness is central to my photographic art.  This is true of Urban Shadows, which began with noticing the shadows cast by holiday shoppers in the low winter's sun.

Shadow Walker

Catching a shadow is tricky business.  Try it sometime!  I have found that holding the camera (in this case an iphone) stationary, pointed toward a path through which pedestrians are passing, to be an effective method.  It then becomes an exercise in pushing the shutter at the appropriate time to capture the shadow, without its body.  It is hit-and miss, with little time for framing the image.  In this sense, pedestrian shadow photography is very different from my normal process of careful framing,   (image capture for Urban Reflections is a hybrid, where I frame the scene, but then snap images as people move in and out of the scene).  The art of shadow image capture has more in common with an arcade game than traditional photography!

IMG_2153 IMG_2153 - Version 2

This means that the creativity of framing, composition, and meaning-making are pushed to the studio where I rotate and crop (frame) the photographs to create evocative images.   I then work with the collected shadows to explore ensemble groupings that are visually compelling and embrued with meaning.  I will explore this grouping/meaning-making process in a future post.  In the mean time, check out this gallery of shadow ensembles.

Shopping from Shadow Walkers (10”x20”)