Blog #106 The Shadow Side
In my last blog post, I confessed my obsession with series. These are mere collections of images that have the same subject but otherwise vary in all other ways. They may not be tied to a colour, place, style, medium, or anything else for that matter. Film, digital, it doesn’t matter. I just like making pictures of signs as I illustrated in my last post Blog #105.
There is a method to my madness, as they say. These simple assignments force creativity and a fresh POV. To keep myself interested I make images of the same subject but never in the same way. I vary something, anything, everything, but keep the subject constant. That’s my simple method. It sounds easy but its not so easy in practice.
Shadows are one of my series that I will share a bit here. I love the sharp and high contrast that is characteristic of shadows. Shadows can be of anything such as a tree, a person, a car, a building, or whatever. You just need a strong enough light source and the proper angle to make a shadow. Making images of shadows is a study in line and shape. It’s really a means to an end, rather than a project or end unto itself. Some artists are successful sharing their series as a series or stand-alone work. That can work for some and more power to them.
If you are starting to make series at this point in your photography I suggest having no more than 10. You will inevitably lose interest in a few of these over time and the result will be a core set of about five or so series that you will continue over the course of a year or longer. When you tire of one, file it, and replace it. You might dig up an old series, dust it off, and take a stroll down memory lane or even add an image or two from time to time.
Think of series as your artist sketch book. Who knows maybe some great body of work will emerge someday. All great journeys start with one step said the great Chinese philosopher Lao Zi. Begin yours today!
The light is always right.
*Images: © Jeremy H. Greenberg
Where: Hong Kong
Subject: Shadow Series
Gear: A variety of light-proof boxes. Let’s face it, who gives a shit?