Looking up…

This world is but a canvas for our imagination. Thoreau

I’ve been feeling the urge to step further away from the world of photographic realism and play with the stuff of dreams — and dreams often take place in the dark.

I don’t tend to photograph where there isn’t much light. It’s hard. It can be scary. I don’t often want to take my camera into the shadows. But it can be so rewarding.

Photographer Ron Bigelow opens up new possibilities with his comments about shadows:

“Shadows are an entity as alive as the light. It is the shadows that shape the light, that draw attention to the light, and that integrate with the light to produce striking photographic opportunities. If we are to reach our full potential as photographers, we must think as much in terms of mastering the shadows as we do of mastering the light.”

I can’t help but think that the same is true of life.

I shot the original image with a long exposure and rear curtain flash during the blue hour. I loved the effect that emerged. The blur in the foreground is a car driving by. I captured a person who had climbed up the stairs to the top.

The image evoked a strong mood in me and started to suggest some meaning. I then turned it into a composite by layering on the side view of Buddha’s head. Applying Kim Klassen’s textures “booklight” and “storm” finished off the image I had in my mind’s eye.

Sharing with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesdays and Photo Art Fridays.


25 thoughts on “Looking up…

  1. I love all your thoughtiness that made me feel like I was sitting on a floor, cross-legged, chin in hands, listening to you read a story… what you have created here is so far from realism that it feels really REAL. does that make sense?! sometimes all the stuff that bangs about in my head, if I tried to lasso it, it might have a similar flavour. anyhow, really really wonderful, this…

  2. Sherry, I love the mystery in this shot, the questions it raises. And the risks you’re taking in exploring new territory. You explain it so well in your writing. Mary Lou

  3. This is beautiful, Sherry. Both the dreamlike image and the ideas you explore. Realism captures what is, simply that, delightful though that reality may be. What you have done here is more like going inside the mind and looking at a memory. Most inspiring.

  4. bravo on this type of experimentation or working beyond your usual comfort level — great results! I love that you’re experimenting in-camera — that’s always more important to me than what we can do in post processing. Bravo ten times over.

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