The best shadows can be found in the early morning when the winter sun streams into our apartment. We leave the blinds in the lounge open overnight purely for the pleasure of being bathed in golden light as soon as we open the bedroom door. The same light creates intricate patterns on the walls, thanks to the security frames on the windows. By late afternoon the sun appears again on the back balcony, this time making shadows from the giant palms in the garden.
But still, why shadows? I think these images actually say more about the way that taking photos has wended its way into my being. I’ve had a half decent camera for a few years now, but I’m taking ten times the amount of photos I did in previous years. To get up in the morning, stumble bleary-eyed into the kitchen, and pause to take a few photos of nothing but a shadow on the wall before I’ve even dressed properly, well that’s just not something I did before. I’m definitely not uninfluenced, and must acknowledge the likes of Brian Ferry and Michael Muller, and their ability to elevate the ordinary. I admire first, their consideration of floors, patches of sunlight, and window ledges as serious subject matter; and second, their skill in creating simple, modest and restful images. I’m not technically experienced at all (barely doing more than pointing and eschewing the flash), but I like to think that their style takes an eye for detail and a sensitivity in composition that is half the effort of a pleasing image. Most of all, I like thinking that it takes a willingness to pause amidst the transience and bustle of life. This, maybe,is what my shadow photos are about: baby-attempts to stop, notice, and record.
For some serious shadow eye-candy (eye-shadow?), check out these video clips of a mesmerising Chinese dancer, a haunting shadow animation (worth checking out for the background music alone), and Peter Brings the Shadow to Life.