Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Shadow Show

In Australia the sun is terribly strong and the dark shadows are hard to tackle in photography. The way out it I found is to play with them rather than try to avoid them.

En Australie la lumière est terriblement forte et les ombres très noires sont souvent un problème pour le photographe. La solution pour moi a été d'apprendre à jouer avec plutot que d'essayer de les éviter.
My early morning walk this week took me to George Street. On this winter day it is still fairly dark at 7:30 a.m. From where I stand on the pavement, I can see inside an office building: two men having a chat move in turn in and out of sight. This is a collage of three different photos. Can you recognise the same men in different positions ?

Ma promenade matinale de cette semaine m'a menée sur George Street. En cette journée d'hiver il fait encore très sombre à 7h30. Depuis le trottoir où je me tiens, je vois l'entrée illuminée d'un immeuble de bureaux où deux hommes discutent en marchant. Cette photo est un collage de trois photos successives, reconnaissez-vous mes deux acteurs dans des positions différentes ?

On the beach I found an Australian magpie, a wonderful bird that I see plenty of around my house. There's a French traditional song that goes 'There's a magpie in the pear tree, I can hear it sing...' but I had never really heard a magpie sing before coming to Australia. And what a song! A real melody, beautiful! (listen to the song of the Australian magpie).This one came to me hoping to be fed, I had nothing to give it but I stole its shadow.

Sur la plage j'ai trouvé une pie australienne. J'en vois souvent dans mon quartier, et elles ne sont pas farouches. Petite, j'ai souvent chanté la chanson "Y'a une pie dans l'poirier, j'entends la pie qui chante..." mais la réalité c'est que je n'avais jamais entendu une pie chanter avant de venir en Australie. Elles chantent, mais elles chantent ! Une vraie mélodie, c'est magnifique ! (Cri de la pie australienne). Celle-ci s'est approchée en espérant quelque chose à manger, mais je n'avais rien pour elle, je me suis contentée de lui voler son ombre !
Sunday afternoon, the shop window of an art gallery in a small back street in Manly : the sun's last rays hit completely horizontally these sculptures which appear to explore the relation between man and tree (see the tree drawn on the bottom man's belly?). The shadow was perfect.
Fin de journée sur Manly, les derniers rayons du soleil éclairent à l'horizontale l'intérieur d'une galerie d'art qui expose de drôles de sculptures qui explorent la relation entre l'homme et l'arbre (voir le dessin d'arbre sur le ventre du personnage du bas). L'ombre était parfaite.

45 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

For me the Magpie stole the show. The others are mere mortals.

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Spica said...

Beautiful use of the shadows ! You really know how to handle them !

Norman said...

The Australian magpie gained that name only because it shared the European bird's colours, Nathalie, but they have nothing in common, so don't spend time back in a French garden expecting a beautiful song as it won't come. Come to think of it, I hope you don't spend too long in France before you come back and really get to appreciate what a wonderful bird old maggie is.

Nathalie said...

What about that French song then, Norman? Could it have been imported from OZ? (confusing millions of poor kids!)

Sally said...

Nathalie - i adore that first picture collage! I think you have a future in film noir - and isn't that Hitchcock himself in the final frame????

I read an interview with Sidney Nolan the Aussie artist when i lived in england, in which he said that he used to put Neighbours on TV every day so he could hear the warbling of the magpies on the sound track. And it's true! (Or was then)

Cowbark said...

Sally hit the nail on the head - I LOVE the first collage, it is very Hitchock! I hadn't even noticed that it was a collage until you pointed it out. LOVE IT!

Olivier said...

tes ombres sont superbes, j'adore la premiere, il y a un cote mysterieux dans cette photo, on dirait une reunion de gangster surveiller par le FBI.

Peter said...

I also like the way you have played with the shadows and I find the reference to Hitchcock as "very valid".

You will hear music also in France, don't worry!

Curly said...

Your play with light and shadow has become quite artistic Nathalie. I hope you like my little flower today.

South Shields Daily Photo

Bill said...

The bird seemed to like to have his photo taken!

Lavenderlady said...

I love the one of the men in the shadows...this could be in a magazine ad.

hpy said...

Réussies, ces ombres.

GMG said...

Great pictures. I agree with Sally and Peter: Sir Alfred went on a diet to enter your film...

richard said...

A great tutorial for anyone looking for ideas about how to make their photography more interesting. The first one hit me the moment I opened the page. It's my favourite - I can't make up my mind if I want to know that it's a collage.

Maxime said...

Je confirme : il y a toujours des pies dans mon jardin, mais je ne les ai jamais entendues chanter. Elles se contentent de crier et de faire peur aux chats !
Le rythme de ta photo "en noir et blanc" est sensationnel. Vraiment une belle trouvaille.

Moi said...

great shots ..all of them...but the first collage had me in awe!!!

Mme Benaut said...

The shadow photography is spectacular Nathalie and that's a very fine specimen of a magpie too. It is breeding season and the maggies are all looking strong and healthy. Give it another month or two and they will be up to their little ears in squawkers and looking a little frayed at the edges. The mother magpies are incredibly patient but the males participate in nest duty and feeding too. We have two families of magpies at our home which are quite tame - just yesterday the younger male walked through the house but couldn't find his way out of the window. I called his name softly and repeatedly and he let me hold him and show him out the window. While they will swoop at strangers when they are feeding their babies, they never swoop at me, fortunately.

Château-Gontierdailyphoto said...

Very nice composition ..thank you also for your comment on my daughter Axelle photo blog.

Squirrel said...

Nice to click over here and be struck by a great shot--this little seris is very nice. I like that bird and the men top and man art below are photos you feel like studying the shadow of the sculpture is interesting as it looks bth more and less human.

Imparfait présent said...

Joli show!
Je me souviens que petit, je courrais après mon ombre...

claude said...

Tiens ! Moi aussi j'ai fais un post sur des ombres, celles de mon jarcin.

Cergie said...

C'est curieux, tout le monde pour ce que j'en vois ensurvolant les commentaires n'en a que pour la première photo (qui ne doit rien à ce terrible soleil australien mais à ta matinale présence tapie dans l'ombre de la rue) et pour la pie (qui a un chant horrible en France, on dit qu'elle jacasse)

La photo qui m'interpelle est la formidable photo à tiroirs de la statue sous la statue avec l'arbre sur le ventre, avec le socle et la niche...
J'imagine qu'on peut tourner autour et la voir sous des angles très différents (sauf qu'elle est dans une vitrine) Ces ombres dures lui donne des teintes très douces...

Comme quoi l'ombre ce n'est pas si simple...
Round around the shadow, en effet...

Ben said...

Now, the first one is truly artistic. Well done!

Pod said...

again the top one is brill. very effective. i am impressed madame
bisous

Steve Buser said...

I had a lot of fun with your "house of mirrors photo. Just a real fun posting of pix.

--steve buser
New Orleans Daily Photo
(Counting down toward Post #100 this week)

photowannabe said...

Very artsy nathalie. I really like your technique.
Thanks for the magpie song. I had never heard it before. It actually sounded like a tune being played backwards.
Nice work.

travelphilippines said...

this is a great post... i love the first pic... great.

Norman. said...

Let me know what you think of the French magpie's song once you've settled in over there, Nathalie. I must confess I only made a point of tracking down the English bird, but can't imagine a tiny Channel resulting in sub=species, singing on one side, not on the other. Songs were, of course, permitted to romanticise even before postmodernism arrived?

Best wishes for the future.

Bleeding Orange said...

La pie, c'est moins mon truc, mais alors les autres sont superbes !!!!

julia said...

Clever shots for our interest. Not long ago, with a two year old, I tried to point out our shadows and all the actions but it was too puzzling. (When my connection is slow I cant reach these comments)

Kim said...

Superb series! Like Richard, I prefer to see the collage as one work, and it is stunning. Love the magpies's shadow and am impressed at the near proximity. At first glance I thought it was a crow that had rolled in the sand and got patches of it stuck on its plumage. ;^) The sculpture shadow s photos are also wonderful.
-Kim

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an artist said...

Whose the artist? Bloggers are very clear about receiving credit/permission for the use of their photographs. Ironically, they rarely acknowledge the the authorship of the artwork they post on a blog.

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