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Tag Archives: shadow

Lunar Eclipse April 2015

I’ll never get tired of watching lunar eclipses.  Even though I understand the science of what’s occurring, there’s still something magical and mystical about the event.

This morning’s eclipse peaked exactly at 5:00 AM in the San Francisco Bay Area. This image shows the darkest point of the eclipse.  There was still a sliver of light on the upper right edge of the moon that never disappeared completely.  I think folks in western Alaska and Hawai’i were treated to “true” totality…but we got the next best thing!

No complaints from this photographer.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I could use a nap!



Did the groundhog see its shadow today?  If so, you’re in for six more weeks of winter…or so goes the uniquely American superstition.

Besides being a silly holiday, “Groundhog Day” is also a neat movie.  A comedy with a moral?  Absolutely!

Spoiler alert:  Who among us has never wished for a “do-over?”

Yeah, I thought so.  I could use several do-overs in my own life…but I digress.

Happy Groundhog Day!

porch shadows

The strong yet warm morning sidelight cast some fun shadows onto the front wall of this small house in Vinales, Cuba.

Shadow Man 2

Shortly after sunrise this gentleman was walking down the sidewalk in Havana.  I was drawn by the beautiful lighting on his skin, as well as the interesting shape his shadow made on the wall as he passed by…when a second man passed the first man and looked back at him, as if to try to figure out why Man #1 was being photographed…and Man #2 didn’t make it into the image, but his curious shadow did!

It looks to me like the two shadows are having their own conversation as the two men walk beside each other down the street.

Sometimes images just sort of compose themselves…you’re trying to get a particular image, and you get something else…not what you expected, but even better.  This was one of those serendipitous times.

Something I’ve always been fascinated with is shadows.  Depending on the angle and the strength of the light, ordinary objects can create shadows that can be far more interesting than the object itself.

I was on my way into this coffee shop when the bike leaning against the tree in front of the entrance caught my eye.  Well, actually it wasn’t the bike itself, which was pretty nondescript, but the shadow of the bike falling across the sidewalk and up the brick veneer of the building is what struck me.

Eager to get my caffeine fix, I snapped a quick shot with my camera phone and hurried inside.  Three months later, I got around to looking at the image I had loaded onto my computer, and decided to have a little fun with my image processing software.

After cropping the image, turning it into a black and white, and bumping up the contrast, I got the image above.  All you see of the bike itself is the front tire in the lower left.  But you see the shadow of most of the bike, which is far more interesting than the tire.  The tire simply says “Yes, there’s a real bike here, that’s what’s casting this cool shadow.”

The image below is the original, unprocessed image I downloaded from the camera phone.  A pretty awful image for so many reasons: composition, exposure, and lack of a definitive subject are just the first few that jump out at me.  But I had a vision…

So if you have a camera of some sort–any sort–with you most of the time, and you’re alert to what’s around you, you can find some cool images where and when you least expect them.  It’s just another way of being in the Right Place at the Right Time.  And nobody has to know that you didn’t plan it that way!