Seeing Shadows

At long last the Jet Stream has moved north allowing High Pressure to build over Western Europe including the UK. Finally, the rain has stopped and we have settled dry weather with blue skies and soaring temperatures – 20C yesterday in places. Spring is about to explode. We are happy!

We’ve been away for the weekend. But the day before, I went on my first walk for some time in Campbell Park. The ground in the park undulates and with the sun behind me I reached a point where the land in front fell away before rising again. I stared ahead and saw my shadow beside a tree – it was exactly as you see it in the first image.

_DS78328There was no need to move, the image was complete.  Except I looked a little wooden. So I tried a few poses, trying to operate a dSLR while doing so. Not easy, and if anyone was looking they must have wondered what the heck I was doing. Suffice it to say that I was useless at posing with the exception of the one that follows, where it appears I might have a rucsac on my back, or a spinal deformity (I don’t).

_DS78331Finally back home I experimented with a B&W conversion. What do you think? Colour or B&W?

_DS78328_bw

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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22 Responses to Seeing Shadows

  1. oneowner says:

    Black and white. It simplifies this great composition. Good work.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. I am in two minds myself about this. I love B&W as you will know, but I like the addition of the colour – maybe it’s something to do with the longing for the colours of Spring.

  2. athyfoto says:

    Looks like you were having fun! I prefer the colour version and that is unusual for me 🙂 Black and white conversions are as subjective as anything else in photography as we can get lots of different versions from a file.

    Yes it has been a long slog through the winter this time and the sunshine is VERY welcome. It was great to see that ‘S’ curve develop in the Jet Stream and go way up and around the top of Scotland. I was sitting in the garden this morning with a coffee and soaking up the rays. Its the first time the “Garden Cafe” has been open this year and it was nice to have to shield the eyes against the sun shining down from a clear blue sky..

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Frank. It was a fantastic weekend – we drove (with no delays) down the M1 and round the M25 to visit my daughter for the weekend. The light was phenomenal and we too sat outside in glorious warm sunshine on Sunday morning. What a tonic that was.

  3. Meanderer says:

    How funny – I was doing the same sort of thing on Saturday in the glorious sunshine! We came across a couple of wind-damaged trees which made very striking shadows on sloping ground. I posed next to, and inbetween, the trees but couldn’t make up my mind whether I liked the results. It’s turned a bit grey here today, but if it’s sunny in the week I shall have another go.

    I like these because there is little distracting material around and the shadows are nice and strong. My preference is for the colour version (the first image). I like the horizontal band of grey concrete across the green.

    • LensScaper says:

      I think you’ve hit on what makes this work in your second paragraph – no competing interest. I feel more drawn to the colour version, it adds another dimension. The B&W is cold (it often is and works that way), but I’m needing a bit of colour after this past winter.

  4. bananabatman says:

    I think I like the colour image best in this instance. This may well be because the green grass is a reminder that spring is upon us (I think). It may be the psychological need for ‘feelgood’.

    I looked again, and if the different texture of the path hadn’t been there, then B&W would have won me over. With the path in the frame, then the colour image still wins. In the second colour image, your shadow is perhaps walking up this path? The path needs to be recognisable and this needs colour.

    • LensScaper says:

      Interesting observations Dave – thanks. I hadn’t thought that my shadow appeared to be walking along the path. Strange how we see different things in an image. As I’ve said in reply to others, Although I often prefer B&W conversions, I am increasing valuing the colour in this – there’s been too much grey for too long.

  5. lisa says:

    For me it is most definitely the black and white. I REALLY like that one.
    It sounds like you are beginning to see some signs of spring.
    Not here quite yet, but I am hoping real soon.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Lisa. Yes, Spring is on its way but rather chaotically. The rhythm of Spring already feels it is disturbed, tulips out in a garden near us, Forsythia late, Blackthorn looking fantastic and already hawthorn coming into leaf.

  6. Nelson says:

    I think the use of shadow with B/W give some good results but in this case here since you only have few colors, the green of the grass and the black/grey of the asphalt, the color version does also gives some good results.
    Your photos, both look great in color and B/W but it’s they do not say the same thing to the viewer

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Nelson. You are right in your final comment – as is often the case, colour and black and white create entirely different moods. Thanks for commenting

  7. Len says:

    So glad that spring is coming to your neck of the woods Andy. I prefer the color version probably because I still have about 3 feet of that white stuff yet to melt. But there is hope.

  8. Chillbrook says:

    I prefer the colour version Andy. Personally I think the black and white image looks a bit flat by comaparison. It certainly looks like you were enjoying yourself. Strange looks from passersby by any chance? 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. No-one walked along the path, and I have no idea whether anyone saw me from behind. I didn’t look – perhaps it’s a good thing I didn’t!

  9. Both the black and white and the colour versions have their different and distinct characters. I think I’ll go for the colour. It’s something about that almost illuminating green colour. And I agree with Chillbrook, the B&W looks a little flat in comparison. Enjoy the nice weather!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Otto. I think the colour version has more life to it and we do need that right now. I agree with you and others that the B&W version looks flat and rather cold by comparison.

  10. Pete Buckley says:

    I usually prefer colour but in this case the black and white is somehow more striking. You’re right about the weather too – almost a novelty to walk outside without being battered or instantly soaked!

  11. I almost always prefer color, and in this case I find this to hold true. The first shot in this set really showcases terrific natural tension, Andy, well seen and well executed, my friend!!

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