Sunday Stills: What Do the #Shadows Have to Say?

dragonfly's shadow

Shadows. This was a theme I had been considering from my long list for Sunday Stills, then realized I instinctively chose it for Groundhog Day. This seems to be an East Coast tradition, as Punxsutawney Phil, the long-lived groundhog, makes his annual weather prediction of when we can expect spring to unofficially begin.

Although we basked in the light in January with Becky B’s square photo challenge, this week Sunday Stills will explore the absence of light, the shadows.

The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.

Gregory Maguire

Let the shadows in your images be the subject. Different than a silhouette or a reflection, a shadow is a dark area or shape produced by an object coming between rays of light and a surface.

Shadows produce depth and interest to an image. Although most photographers prefer well-lit images, even a shadow created by a setting sun can steal the show.

fire in the window

Shadows play in front of and behind these fall leaves.

Red Fall Leaf in Shadow

For landscape shots, the winter’s lengthening afternoon shadows create a vivid contrast in the image.

Cave Creek, Arizona
Cave Creek area, near Phoenix, AZ

This semi-transparent windsurf window hanger casts an orange shadow on a wall … or is it a reflection? Hmmm.

My hubby mugs for a photo at Valley of Fire State Park. Note the three shadowed figures with their phones.

shadow selfie

This dying dragonfly rests in our trailer, but casts a shadow full of life!

dragonfly's shadow

Got shadows? Share your shadowy images this week! I’m looking forward to not only your fab images, but your poems, music, stories and quotes!

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WPC: Thanks for the Photographic Memories

Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has been a staple on my blog since January 2015, when I began submitting to its new theme each week. 

This is the last week that the weekly photo challenge will prompt bloggers like myself to stretch our imaginations and take a photograph that depicts the theme. The last theme, appropriately is All-Time Favorites, where we are to share our favorite images from past WPC posts.

This was one of my first entries into an amazing world of photo blogging! Expressive Dock Eagerly Awaits Visitors

Lake-Natoma-Dock
Lake Dock

Not only did this photo pop, but it was one of my better attempts at a decent blog post title.

Here are a couple of fan favorites and one of mine:

Legs cast shadows and reflections
Reflections and Shadows

SpaceX Launch
SpaceX Launched 10 satellites into space from Southern California

Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood
Dragonfly nymph sheds into adulthood

These photos are different in nature but all seem to have unusual features: a downward focus to catch both shadows and reflections; a fleeting moment in space, or a macro shot of Mother Nature in action. This is the creativity the WPC inspired in me,  to think and see like a photographer every minute of the day.

The weekly photo challenge was responsible for providing me with hundreds of followers over the years and was instrumental in improving my photography over the last three years, and I credit it for linking me with so many other amazing bloggers who share their photos in posts each week. I will seriously miss this blogging event!

I must give a special shout-out to a fellow blogger and Northern California neighbor, Frank at Petaluma Spectator Blog.

Lumix cameraWhen I began shopping for a REAL camera, I reached out to Frank by e-mail asking what camera he used for the WPCs. Not only did he share the information on his favorite camera (Panasonic Lumix FZ300, which I purchased), he sent several messages with the links to good photography practices. And he even sent me a hard copy photography book!

Without Frank’s help and inspiration, this amazing world of photography I find myself in would not be the same. My photography has certainly leveled up all because I developed a relationship with a fellow blogger on the subject.

 

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. Elliott Erwitt

Although I hate to see the WPC go, I thank the WordPress team at the Daily Post  for the support and prompts to help new and veteran bloggers stretch our wings and soar!

Stuck for ideas? Why not join these photo challenges hosted by your fellow bloggers?

Cees Photo Challenges 
Thursday Doors 
Tourmaline Jennifer Nichole Wells 
Sunday Stills (hosted by me)
Visit this WordPress Daily Post Community Event page for more blogging events!

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Out of the Shadows

Legs cast shadows and reflections

This week’s photo challenge asks us to depict Shadow.

Not only did I get some great shots with the new camera, I got double pleasure with shadows and reflections at Coronado’s dog beach in San Diego last December.

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection.

Legs cast shadows and reflections

Legs also cast shadows and reflections.

But, wait, there’s MORE!

In my post, How to Get 100s of Free Photos for Your Blog, I got a wonderful response and several bloggers found great uses on their blogs for some of my donated images!

Sally Cronin from Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life used one in her post, Weekly Image and Haiku—From a Grateful World and wrote a lovely haiku with it.

Blogger Marje from Kyrosmagica used a photo as her featured image (with some Canva editing), which featured me on her Author Spotlight!

Fellow blogger, Allison, at Allison D Reid, contacted me and asked to share her vast collection of gorgeous images of forests, streams and other natural settings. Like me, she has oodles of photos “collecting virtual dust” as she cleverly put it! You can also find the file of her images from South Chagrin Reservation in Bentleyville, Ohio.

Here is a wonderful example of one of Allison’s photos. It happens to fit the WPC shadow theme (but the credit is hers)!

Forest in Shadow
image by Allison D. Reid

As I said, FREE images really are available. No sign-ups, no passwords to remember, no gimmicks. Just click on FREE BLOG IMAGES for the link or visit my new page Free Photos for Your Blog.

Help us bring our unused photos out of the shadows!

Current folders include landscapes, flowers, animals, cityscapes and general office. Visit on a regular basis for new folders and photos added weekly.

New to the folder this week are the following:

  • “Donated Images, with subfolder, “Donated by Allison.”
  • Sports with subfolders: Climbing, Cycling, Group Games, and Water Sports
  • The folder “Landscape” was also updated to include a subfolder “Water.”

Do NOT be shy about using these. It will be up to you to choose and edit them for use on your blog.

I know many of you take quality photos! If you are a blogger with unused digital images laying around “collecting virtual dust” and would like to donate them to the blogging community, please contact me and let’s see if we can add them. I use the Pro edition of Dropbox with plenty of room, (so no worries on space!) and it is very easy to share.

Bring these photos out of the shadows so we may all enjoy them!

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Shadows: Weekly Photo Challenge

windsurfer

Wind shadows
Wind shadows

It is not easy to find shadows in full sun on open water. On an especially windy, summer day on the Sacramento River at Sherman Island, the river had large swells and waves. The distant hills were in light shadow. I edited this photo in picmonkey and got these great shadows within the waves.

Shadowed