Lake Lure, North Carolina, March 2013
copyright Dolphin Studios 2013
I just got back from a vacation at Lake Lure, North Carolina. It is a beautiful lake nestled in the Carolina mountains. March weather is still unpredictable. One day it is warm and sunny and the next day the clouds cover the mountains and the gray bare trees blend into the landscape creating quite a monochromatic mood. This particular morning the sun was out, but looks can be deceiving! The windy beach was void of life. The only sounds I could hear were the lapping waves and the call of the birds high above.
As I looked at this lonely pier, I thought about how life can be like this image. Sometimes we are presented with challenges or opportunities and we don’t know what the outcome will be. No matter how many times we think it through or how many scenarios we create, the only way to know the outcome is to make a move. Take a step off the pier of life! It can be scary to leave a safe place, but life is meant to be an adventure! Stop waiting for “if” and “when”. After all, you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows. 1930’s radio drama.-Frank Readick Jr.
My shadow photo taken in Cheyenne, WY 2008
According to Wikipedia, The Shadow is a collection of serialized dramas, originally on 1930s radio, and then in a wide variety of media. Details of the title character have varied across various media, but he is generally depicted as a crime-fighting vigilante with psychic powers posing as a “wealthy, young man about town”. One of the most famous adventure heroes of the twentieth century, The Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long running pulp magazine series, in comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five motion pictures. The radio drama is well-remembered for those episodes voiced by Orson Welles.
In movies and stories, shadows are usually depicted as the dark or evil side of the self. Why does it always have to be thought of as “negative ?” Why can’t the shadow be incorporated into the whole of the person? It is just an opposite like yin and yang, male and female or up and down. When you look into the mirror you see a REFLECTION of yourself but when you look at your shadow you see deep inside your SOUL. It doesn’t have to be scary at all. It’s all in how you CHOOSE to see it.
This is where my shadow journey began in August 2008. Vedauwoo (pronounced: vi də vu:) is an area of rocky outcrops (Sherman Granite) located in south-eastern Wyoming,United States, north of Interstate 80, between Laramie and Cheyenne. Its name (according to climbing guidebook authors Skip Harper and Rob Kelman) is an anglicized version of the Arapaho word “bito’o’wu” meaning “earth-born”.(Wikipedia) I was at a plein air paintng event and we went out before sunrise to find a spot to paint. As the sun came up I glanced down at the beautiful, unusual rock formations and saw my shadow way down below. It intrigued me. I now notice and photograph my shadow everywhere I go. Eventually I want to have my shadow travel around the world. So far I have had a great start!
I recently received an email from one of my photography sites about a photographer who was discovered after her death. Vivian Maier was a street photographer who lived in Chicago. She was born in 1926, same year as my mother. It seems that in 2007, John Maloof purchased the contents of an abandoned storage unit for less that $400. To his surprise he found over 100,000 negatives and 700 undeveloped rolls of film! I still have a few undeveloped rolls of my own. Who knew this fantastic photographer was hiding behind the woman who worked as a nanny. Now her beautiful photography is everywhere. The mystery is why did this woman hide such talent? Did she not think she was good enough to compete with the Ansel Adams’ of the world? There is a documentary about her life that includes nterviews with her friends, neighbors and the children she cared for. Most of these people had no idea that she was a photographer. She worked in the age of film. It was not like the digital age where one can secretly shoot thousands of photos and return to the computer to quietly download and edit the would be masterpieces. It would have been much more difficult to hide the equipment and chemicals needed to produce these photographic works of art.
I came across one particular page of photos from the Jeffrey Goldstein Collection. It is 9 photos of shadows. They appear to be the shadow of Ms. Maier. Seeing those, I decided to peruse through my personal collection of shadow photos. I started taking shadow photos several years ago while in Wyoming on a plein air painting trip. I became obsessed and continued to take shadows over the world. The next few days I will post some of those photos for you to see. In the meantime, take time to evaluate your work and your passion. Do you have something to share with the world? Do you think it is not good enough, or people will make fun of you? There is a saying that my granddaughter told me, I believe it came from Dr. Suess. ”
Those Who Mind Don’t Matter, and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind.
Take the art, the novel, the dance, the song, whatever talent it is, out of the closet. Share it with the world. If you never share it with others, how will you know whether they like it or not? If they don’t, just remember the words of Dr. Suess!
Please go to the website to learn more about Vivian Maier.