A Shadowy Hour

It’s already Saturday morning with no trigger for this weekend’s Within The Hour project. Still sleepy, I hear Ed on the radio say “colour of a shadow”. I think he was announcing the next piece of music.

(I looked it up later on the online track list, it was 6:06am and Ed was about to play Ulric Cole’s Purple Shadows. Interestingly, the piece is from Joanna Goldstein’s album called Nasty Women – Piano Music in the age of Women’s Suffrage. Love it!)

While I continued to doze, I thought of some options that might fit within an hour.

I dismissed as unpractical taking the coloured pencils on an excursion to sit under a tree with me and work out the colours in the shadow. That skill is one I’ve not exercised for decades. It would likely take longer than one hour and be filled with much befuddlement.

My first thought was photographic. A collage of 1:1 photos of different shadows. I then tried to veer away from a purely photographic outcome, but see preceding paragraph.

It must have been a mood or a continuation of a theme: the image in my mind was dark, nothing but shadows, side by side, row upon row.

However, that doesn’t give the viewer any indication of the colour that the shadow has overlaid upon the surface beneath. There would need to be a shadow’s edge with a sliver of light to enable the contrast.

The next problem: I’ve no intention of spending half an hour walking around trying to find different surfaces in shadow. Solution: I will take the photos during the natural course of the weekend and then spend an hour on Sunday afternoon assembling.

Here goes!

This is not the first time I’ve played with shadows. During a project in 2015, I experimented with viewerless photo capture and then selected images that appealed. These are a few from the Shadows group:

Will the weather defeat me?

I brief ray of sunshine during Saturday morning gave way to clouds and a short spurt of light rain. Sunday isn’t look any brighter.

My idea of snapping during the course of my usual day … will that work this time?

First stop was the supermarket, and my park was completely in shadow. No further outings on Saturday. The Sunday outing – morning tea with family – was cancelled (by me) because of a tummy bug that laid me low late yesterday. So, no, it didn’t work.

It might be time to rethink option one.

Charcoal in hand, I grab a piece of paper and pop outside. It’s been a long time since I tried a charcoal rubbing.

Unfortunately, I kinda like the effect. Thoughts of coloured pencils evaporate.

The smudged effect on the page in front of me is fine for the page in front of me; it suits the music that triggered the question. But the photo I’ve taken to put online is a bit lack lustre. A bit of push and pull on the colour scales in the photo editing software – less brightness, more contrast – to add some pop, and that’s it for this weekend’s project.

Actually, what was that album title? Nasty Women – Piano Music in the age of Women’s Suffrage. On the March, Making their Mark!


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