Wednesday, April 21, 2010

light and shadow

Another of my daughter's photographs - until she gets her own site up and running, I will continue to post her work and enjoy the fact that I'm off the hook for taking my own!!

I love this one because of the contrast between the light and shadow, and the quality of the light coming through the leaves shaped by the dark trunk and branches of the trees.

I have many, many negatives of photographs I took simply exploring the way light falls onto different surfaces, and the patterns it makes coming through various objects and filters. It's so much fun seeing her explore some of those same things.

Today is a gray day, and I notice as I look out the window that with gray you lose both the brightness and the shadows. Gray brings everything to the middle.

Interesting because it works that way psychologically as well. We all need some gray for balance, but the highs and lows we experience are like light and shadow - they seem to go together, the contrast being part of what defines them.

All my novels explore light and shadow in the lives of the characters, most of whom have to learn about their shadows in order to find the light. It's a fascinating journey, navigating the shadows, following a path through darkness into something lighter, and being able to enjoy the light because of the shadows that surrounded it.

Yesterday evening I mowed the weeds, mostly buttercups, in the front field, while all the equines grazed the front yard. Because of the way we have the front enclosed, as a temporary grazing area, we monitor things closely when the horses and donkeys are up there. A dark grey was beginning to roll in anyway, but as evening approached the front began to get murky, and the young, round evergreens that seem to sprout up everywhere looked like figures looming beneath the trees. The horses are more alert when in the front yard, attuned to the same sights and sounds, but in a different way because of the smaller space they're in.

Between the buzz of the mower and the overall dimming of the day around me, my biggest connection to the world at large was the movement of the horses and donkeys. I discovered that even when I was mowing away from where they grazed, I could sense their movement behind me. I'm not sure how - it was not by sight or sound, but a distinct change in the air around me that caused me to turn and look, and I'd catch sight then of the shifting herd.

It was nearing dark when I finished up, and drove through the gate at the top of the field and on through the darkened barn aisle, the headlights of the mower cutting a vague path as I passed through. The horses were happy enough to be driven up as a herd by my husband, back to the security of their regular areas.

In the barnyard, the feel was different. We all let our guards back down, and let the night and the possibility of rain take us over.


Matthew said...

I love K's pictures, and I love the pictures you draw in the mind with your amazing words!

jme said...

very interesting... i have always been fascinated by the interplay between light and shadow on many levels, but lately more than ever before, i am feeling my moods and psychological state being effected by the presence or absence of actual, natural light....

billie said...

Thanks, Matthew. It's fun to write to daughter's lovely photos.

billie said...

j, I think we all need more "real" light in our daily lives.

ponymaid said...

Billie, we donkeys usually prefer blinding sunshine but your offspring's photos are really quite spectacular. That girl has a double gift of insight from her parents.

billie said...

Sheaffer, you should see Rafer and Redford in the cool dark barn aisle on hot days here! I wonder if they have simply acclimated themselves to horse habits or if the heat here is just oppressive to all.