Monday, June 06, 2011

I Was There - Self Portrait Shadows

Amy and Grandma Jo in Hawaii
It used to be that after a trip I'd take our photos to be developed and be so disappointed that once again there were no pictures of me, as if I didn't exist except behind the camera. Then I started insisting that someone take a picture of me, but those, being less than candid, were never very interesting. 
Small town in Idaho

Fast forward to a few years ago when I was walking down a street early one morning when the shadows were long; there at my feet was my shadow self... so I took my picture. Now I look for opportunities to take shadow self portraits  wherever I go. 
Phoenix, AZ
There are no rules about taking shadow self portraits except that you need some sun and you need to make the picture quite early in the morning or late in the day when the sun is low to the horizon so that shadows are cast. The only time when I can't get a shadow picture is when the sun is directly overhead. The higher the sun the shorter the shadow.
At the beach
Most of the time I don't use the viewfinder on the camera but rather I use the LCD monitor in order to camouflage the camera itself in the resulting photo. The newest point and shoot cameras don't even have a viewfinder.
Cannon Beach

Move around until your shadow is where you want it. It's interesting if you can arrange to have something in the background that gives a hint about where you were.  And be prepared for a distorted body. You'll look like you've put on several unwanted pounds because of the angle and the clothing you're wearing. This is not the time for vanity to rear its ugly head.
I'm sure you can figure out time of day by the length of the shadow.

La Conner, WA Tulip Fields


  1. Hi Jo,
    Thanks so much for sharing the shadow self portraits. I especially enjoy the one with you and your granddaughter. The shadows show mystery, but also a witness to the moment.

  2. Hey Jo! I love your shadow self portraits here and in your sidebar... simply wonderful. They say something but are mysterious as well.. great idea.

  3. This is a good idea, Jo. There are never any pictures of me during holidays or family events. And If I ask Mr. B to take my picture, the results are less than desirable and I delete them! Nancy


I appreciate comments and questions.

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