Walking My Shadow—a Photographic Essay
Early morning walk
At this time of the day the sun is still low yet bright enough to cast crisp shadows of all kinds: from leaves to fence … to the distant edge of a balcony inviting me to proceed downhill as shown below, reprised from the feature image.
I am engaged in the first steps of that walk
when I catch my shadow pointing to the base of a tree … I take the few steps that will place the top of my hat where it touches it.
As if in a salute to our matinal co-presence I decide to record and explore variants of the situation.
My shadow’s next encounter
with a tree base is socially mediated by the deposit against it of a garbage bag, split open to reveal the leftovers of a hurried apartment emptying at moving time … from bottles to single shoe. “What else?” seems to ask my shadow.
That encounter is followed by one with a trio of shadows:
My own, the one of a friendly low branch peeking from behind an elderly tree trunk and the one created by the folding of the tree bark upon itself. Not unusual in the case of elderly beings, i.e., the outer expression of inner folds.
From natural to man-made items
Another visual ensemble of shadows catches my attention: my own, the one of a post holding a parking sign and, appropriately, the front bumper of a parked car and its shadow, all criss-crossed by the one of the side-walk and projected on the stained street pavement … a real urban “shadowscape”!
It is time to retreat
to almost where I began with a shadow salute to a flowery bush. Let us call it my …
in lieu of my usual End words!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maurice Amiel, M. Arch. (U.C. Berkeley) is retired professor of Environmental Design at the School of Design, University of Quebec at Montreal, where he was involved mainly in environment-behaviour teaching and applied research projects. In order to promote environmental awareness, he has turned after retiring to documenting and writing about various physical and human agents contributing to a sense of self, place and sociability ... I wish to add to my interests the fundamental role of light in photography and the visual structure of all 2D forms of artwork.