Posts Tagged ‘shadows’

Back home, I was racing up and down the stairs trying to photograph the morning sun as it struck the burnt orange leaves of the oak tree.  As I turned around to walk back down the stairs, I noticed the silhouette on the wall. For a while, I photographed those shadows, the subtle shift of the shapes as the wind stirred the branches outside, and inside, how my motion stirred the butterflies on the mobile hanging from the ceiling.

As for the orange leaves that first drew my attention … to my eyes, they are like stained glass.

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I purchased the little pot of fennel as an experiment.  Just to try growing something I’d never tried before.  After an initial mishap involving watering (or lack thereof), the herb seems to be doing alright.  Still haven’t really cooked with it yet, but I do love the shadows it casts.

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I sat in the hallway trying to find some focus as I shifted between writing projects.  But focus was not coming and so at last, a bit agitated, I started to rise.  That’s when my eyes fell upon a clear vase.  In fact it was a drinking cup that I’d turned into a vase after the plastic had begun to crack.  It held an inch or so of water and a few sprigs of baby’s breath.

The sunlight shone through it magnificently, and somehow that light brought a great sense of calm.

I shook the vase to let the light dance.

Then some petals fell in casting their shadows.

And then I could not resist … I dunked in several sprigs, curious to see what new shapes would emerge.  New shapes did and so did several rainbows.

Soon the light shifted as it always, eventually does.  I crumbled the baby’s breath on top the soil of another growing plant.  The empty vase I placed back in the window.

I share these photos of that light-filled moment with you.  And now I am off to write. 😉


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The morning began with a question, Steve asking me from a different room, “What are you doing?”  I replied, “Just looking at the caustics on the wall.”  He chuckled, probably remembering that he is the one who introduced the concept to me.  I had always accepted the light bouncing on water and other surfaces.  He explained the science behind what I was seeing.

He came over to stand beside me.  I pointed at the light and shadows shimmering on the wall above the bookcase.  He walked forward, and then with his back to me, said as if it was the most clear thing in the world, something like, “Formally caustics are where the light field intensity reaches infinity and …”  He added some other mellifluous statements about diffraction, refraction, reflection and so forth.

I’ m not a scientist but somehow the words sounded like poetry, as beautiful as the gentle burble of water flowing over rocks.  And like water over rocks, the words were gone too fast for me to hold them.  I had understood just enough of what he said to understand that I really didn’t understand what he was saying at all. “Can you repeat what you just said?” I asked hopefully.  He turned around.  “Hunh, repeat what?”

With some encouragement, he did try to repeat what he’d said.  Wasn’t quite the same.  The science was there but not the poetry of the earlier moment.  Even those words didn’t stick with me after he’d left. And I was reminded of a statement someone said about the physicist Richard Feynman, that in the moment as he stared at you explaining how the universe worked, you felt as if you understood it all … and then after he walked away … poof.  Well, after Steve walked away, I meandered about the house for a bit photographing light and shadows on the ceilings, walls and even the following image of light striking a part of the oven.  I think I see the poetry.  I just don’t have the words. 😉

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I suppose I would have found more calm and focus sitting quietly at the base of the tree but …

it was more fun to race around peering deep into its canopy …

and, in the shifting light, not to worry about focus at all.

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In the heart of the city, adults don’t tend to say anything.  They’ll pass me by and pretend not to notice me as I lean precariously over fences into private property or kneel at the base of trees.

It is the children who ask, even as their parents are sometimes trying to shush them, “What are you doing, lady?”

When I tell them that I am photographing sunlight, they ask, “Well, how do you do that?”  And I say with great drama, “Well, the way I choose to photograph sunlight is as it pours over the branches of the trees and creates shadows on the ground.”

The older kids raise eyebrows in disbelief but the younger children, they sometimes nod with great understanding.


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Got home late yesterday so decided to fix a simple dinner.  Here are a few of the ingredients basking in sunlight.

My Late Light Dinner Menu

* day-old bread, slice, drizzle with olive oil, toast and then rub with garlic

*fresh broccoli, slice, toss into oiled frying pan with chopped oyster mushrooms, scallions and more garlic

* add bit of chicken broth, salt and pepper. cover. turn down flame.

*sit down. take a breather before standing to peer in refrigerator — I found last pieces of smoked salmon.

*find a big plate. pile on flavored veggies, a few slices of bread, and the salmon.

*retire to big comfy chair in the living room. hope you didn’t forget fork else you’ll have to get up again!



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A little wooden butterfly scotch taped to a piece of vellum that was taped to a sunny window.  A bit of fun on a Tuesday morning. 😉

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Thanks for the positive comments about the recent tulip pictures.  I did not expect to photograph them again today … it is quite rainy with little natural light coming through the window.  But then on a whim I picked up a flashlight and that experience has been rather fun.

Since this storm system will be around for a bit, we’ll see how this “flashlight series” progresses.

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