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“when you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.” ― ursula k. le guin

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

i make a lot of images that show interplay between light and shadow. some you have seen in my blogs and galleries. many you will probably never see as experimentation in making those images did not translate well after the fact. those i have to be content with the memories of having been there to see it through my eyes only.

i'm going to do something a little different for a few blogs or so. i'm going to share a blog every other day, sharing some insight into one, two or three images i've made for each blog. why?

  1. getting out of my comfort zone. writing more frequently is a challenge for me with a full-time job among other things. but i do love to write, especially in conjunction with sharing images. so i'm challenging myself to write every other day for a little bit.

  2. i'm going to address this theme of light and shadow through images i've made for the next however many blogs i devote to it.

  3. it is my hope that it might give you a little better understanding of the "whys" when i make certain images. there is always a thought process behind each image. i don't just whip out my camera like a gunslinger and shoot as fast as i can in burst mode. i'm always deliberate about making images. now whether they are any good after the fact...well, that's another issue. lol.

these images were made on a road trip loop i drove in wisconsin. back roads are the best roads in my opinion. you never know what you are going to come across.

this first image involved a bit of an "uh oh" moment. as i wandered the bank of the trimbelle river, i looked for a spot to enter that wasn't so deep. for a small river, it. was. deep. i was wearing my chest waders and i could see that i would easily be up to my waist within the first few steps into the quickly moving water at many spots. i finally picked a spot where i actually intended to walk out to the boulder you see in the foreground and make an image from there.

"uh oh". my first step i sunk into the mud up to my ankle. the sandy looking bottom was actually a squishy, muddy bottom. i convinced myself it would be okay if it didn't get any deeper. i planted my second step toward the boulder.

"uh oh". my next step took the mud up past my knee. i was also swaying a little bit trying not to fall over. the water was moving pretty fast, i had forgotten my walking sticks for the day (which would have, most likely, been useless in the mud anyways) and i was in an off-kilter position. one leg covered up past my knee, the other leg still covered up to my ankle. i mumbled a "nope" and struggled a bit valiantly to get my second step back out of the sucking force of the mud. i finally got my foot freed, back-pedaled to my previous ankle depth footing and worked my way back to the bank. it was only two steps off the bank but what a two step it was! i found another rock just off the bank of the river that i was able to step onto from the bank and made this image.

what drew me to make this image? first, i love the motion happening throughout the image. you can see it better in my spring landscape gallery but the the wind made for a lot of branches and grasses swaying. to me, a sharp image is not always the best image. i think motion can project an emotive quality. here, the motion of the wind through the branches and grasses compliments the motion of the water.

second, this image offers two types of light and shadow interplay. the first is the interplay between the the lighter and darker parts of the image. the rocks are lit by the sun on one side and shadowed on the other side. the same with the water. with the longer exposure using a ND filter (the brightness of the scene made it impossible to make a long exposure image without the filter), you can see lighter and darker portions of the water throughout the image. the foreground to middle right side of the river had a very reflective quality that lit up brilliantly. the left side of the river, also foreground leading all the way to the background, had "shadow" from from the thick weeds growing under the river. where you see the lighter portions, that is the muddy bottom.

the second type of light and shadow that attracted my attention was the lighter and darker colors throughout the image. you can see it in the contrast of the darker dead grasses and the lighter new spring grass growth. you can also see it in the trees in the background. see the contrast of the lit trunks and branches and shadowed trunks and branches of the trees on the left side of the image. on the right side, you see the spring growth sprouting on some of the trees against the darker barren branches still yet to proclaim Spring's arrival.

this second image is one that i think of as your classic interplay of light and shadow. the sun was setting low in the sky, intensifying the contrast of light and shadow. i just love the sun's rays hitting the trees sprouting with new spring growth. poking out here and there are the black trunks and branches of trees enhanced against the lighter background of the new leaves. shadows splash the grass throughout on the right side of the road. the angled movement of the hillside and road intersecting in the middle back help to lead your eyes through this sun splattered scene. this was a fun one to make an image of. it required a bit of intentional planning as usual. but with the sun low and getting lower by the minute, it also meant no dawdling to enjoy the moment until after the image was made.

well...there you have it! a couple images reflecting the theme of light and shadow and why i was drawn to make those images. i hope you enjoyed receiving a little bit of insight behind my thinking. let me know in the comments below if you have any questions regarding the "why" that i did not answer in the blog. what are some types of scenes that capture your attention (whether you make images of them or not) that can be attributed to light and shadow to some degree? i'd love to hear them as well. you might have a perspective that would be new to me!

these images are available for purchase. they would be a great addition to your home and/or business. they would also make great gifts for people who really love spring themes!

please do share this blog with others by sharing the link in an email and/or on your social media accounts. simply right click in the url field and hit copy. then paste where you intend to share it. i sure appreciate you showing your support for my photography business in this way!

if this is your first time reading my blog, welcome! thank you so much for reading it. be sure to check out my other blogs that have already been posted. you can find them by clicking on the menu icon and choosing the blog option. also check back periodically for new blogs as i post them on a regular basis.

thanks again for all your support and i will see you next time with "more images from a quiet world"!

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