Shadows and reflections contest entry: @nineclaws
For months I’ve been experimenting with incorporating colours into shadows, reflected colours, and painting with sunlight. I began taking these kinds of photos by accident. It then started developing all on its own and I’ve gone to a wild place of anything goes. It’s whatever I imagine trying next with this process to create new images until it’s all used up. Then there will be something new. There always is.
Most of the time, with any creative process I do, I work primarily intuitively. Expressing that experience in words is not so easy. It’s in the doing that it becomes known. As I write this, I am thinking of the best way to describe an intuitive process that will make it relatable.
It’s akin to a child playing, say on a beach, creating with sand, stones, shells, and so forth. As a child plays, a sense of how to do something will develop organically in this natural experience. This happens without being shown how to do something beforehand. Play and a natural flow are occurring. Conscious thinking doesn’t factor into it much, if at all. There is a knowing and doing all at the same time.
I approached creating these photos in a manner very similar to playing like a child. In fact, it brings me back to the experience of being a child when I create. There is this wonder, fascination, and lightness of heart that occurs.
At this point, there are many objects I use to create these types of photos, somewhere around at least sixty. These include various possessions I have and all manner of objects I pick up wherever I find them. It’s a rich treasure trove of garbage to choose from where I live. I’ve used pieces of glass, plastics, pieces of mirror, bottles (glass and plastic), metal objects, and much more. It’s whatever catches my eye when I’m outside walking.
For this series of photos, I used a large wine bottle as the main shadow to build on. Yes, the wine bottle still had some wine in it, red, and if I wasn’t already using it for cooking, I sure would be now due to the sun exposure. Other elements I incorporated for the shadows are my hand, some tree branches, a pair of hinged handcuffs, and an old lens.
The colours in all of these shadow photos were created by using the sunlight reflected through the wine bottle, that brilliant yellowish colour. I’ve noticed that sunlight alters the colour of the glass as it passes through, since this bottle is actually green. The same occurs with other coloured bottles; sunlight literally lightens the colour.
The blues, greens, and purples were created with several pieces of reflective metallic plastic that I arranged to reflect the sunlight onto the shadow. The white light in “Appeal” and “Internal Glow” were created with an old lens.
Shadows and reflections have been a subject of interest for years, back to when I was a child. I also love tones, black, white, greys. I had never thought of shadows with colours before this year. I’m not even sure why I went in this direction, aside from my intuition leading me there.
These were fun to create and at the same time I sweated through the process, dealing with the wind, the light changing, getting angles correct in tight quarters, and paying attention so I didn’t fall since I was standing on a crate to take the shots.
The sweating about all of it….I didn’t feel that until I was finished shooting a few hours later. That’s when I notice the cramps, kinks, and yes, literally sweat. That’s the intuitive process when fully in the flow. All attention is directed towards focusing on moving with the flow of that creative river in an intimate dance as one.
All photos taken by Nine with a Pentax digital 35mm camera and 90mm Tamron Macro lens.