Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shadows and Light

It was time for a change - long overdue for this blog which hasn't had a face lift since it started over two and a half years ago. The yard sale critters header is gone and in its place one of my favourite photos of a rose which grew in my front yard a couple of years ago. You can see the post which talks about that rose here.

The photos below are from a recent trip to Campbelford - a small town situated on the Trent river in southern Ontario. All of them depict shadows and light. This new layout now allows for larger images than I had before. They'll still increase in size a bit if you click on them.

"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in." ~ Arlo Guthrie
A late afternoon walk across the bridge which spans the Trent river. The sunlight produced some interesting shadows through the guard rails.

“For light, I go directly to the Source of light, not to any of the reflections.”
~ Peace Pilgrim

Just a few hours later, we walked into town near the edge of the river. Colourful lights dotted the opposite shore.

“Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. ~ Junichiro Tanizaki
A nearby chair at the restaurant where we had a very pleasant dinner.

“There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle” ~ Robert Alden.
And here's part of what made it such an enjoyable meal. My Shiraz, Frank's beer and the candlelight - each providing their own warm glow.

“There's something about shadows because you make your own mind up about what's lurking in them.” ~ Richard O'Brien
I hadn't noticed the pair of glasses folded up beside the lamp until I uploaded the photos. I was simply trying to capture the light and shadow.

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
We walked past a beautiful old home which was being renovated. This stained glass window caught my eye, begging to be photographed.

“It was still quite light out of doors, but inside with the curtains drawn and the smoldering fire sending out a dim, uncertain glow, the room was full of deep shadows.” ~ Kate Chopin
Early the following morning, the rising sun revealed this pattern on the motel room drapes. There was a sunrise happening on the other side...

“Shadows are in reality, when the sun is shining, the most conspicuous thing in a landscape, next to the highest lights.” ~ Bayard Ruskin
A peek to the right presented the rich colours of the early sunlight.

“I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time..” ~ Emily Dickinson
And across the river, a beautiful start to another perfect day.


Cloudia said...

How very wonderful, your vision and execution!

Aloha from Hawaii my Friend

Comfort Spiral

Tom said...

Hilary - Beautiful pictures and I like the new layout, especially the header picture.

I hope I don't offend, I may have this wrong, but your photography seems to have improved noticeably recently. You always took great pictures anyway, but you have one or two special ones here. I love the shots of the chair, the wine glasses and the lamp. Very impressive!

And another aloha from Hawaii!


Sueann said...

Fabulous photos! And the new header is awesome. Beautiful!

Zuzana said...

Absolutely LOVE your new look. Fantastic.
The pictures are as always breathtaking, in fact this time around large enough to view as they are.
Love the night city, it looks so exotic somehow.

Tabor said...

Nice new look. Very clean. I should take time to completely revise my blog, perhaps using another software, but I am afraid of losing it all! Lovely photos!!!!

järnebrand said...

Gorgeous photos, Hilary! Wow! The world is just so insanely beautiful through your eyes...
Love/ Jo.

Cricket said...

Nice new look. I like it. Some great shots here, as usual. The draperies are interesting. I can't imagine myself functional enough at sunrise to be taking pictures.

Wish that door were my front door. Beautiful.

I'm thinking of Suzanne Vega's Cracking. Not perhaps the most lyrically appropriate, but still... something about it suits the mood to me.

Brian Miller said...

nice new digs hilary...simple and elegant. these are some of my fav shadow play...

Dianne said...

beautiful new layout!
the greenish color is so pretty
I did have some trouble reading the quotes but that could be my old dried up eyes

the header is beautiful!

I love Shiraz, in your photo - and in my glass :)

wonderful lines and angles and shadows in many of these shots - I love that

Bubblewench said...

Beautiful! Love the new layout too!

Daryl said...

LOVE the new layout, header and the BIG photographs ...

Linda said...

I love your new look. The rose is gorgeous. Your photos are beautiful, and an inspiration to be more creative with my pictures. Most of my pictures are of my cats.

By the way, I like shiraz, too!

ellen abbott said...

Love the new look and all this wonderful warm orangey light.

maddie said...

Hilary, I loved that picture of the chair. It had a real depth to it and said more than just a chair in a restaurant. A landscape in the land of the tiny people, maybe. How a butterfly might see it.

Dawno said...

Lovely new template and, as always, gorgeous photos.

Frank Baron said...

I think my favourite this time around is the lamp/glasses. The night shot came out well too.

I like the new look. Orange you glad?


Pat - Arkansas said...

Love your new look, and the photos are wonderful, just wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! I like the Robert Alden quote, too. Your blog looks great...I love the new layout : )

Dawning Inspiration said...

Your layout is fabulous! Love the shadows and light photos, too.

messymimi said...

You have an eye for beauty in the simple things. Thank you for sharing it.

scarlethue said...

Beautiful, as always

Mental P Mama said...

As amazing as ever...and that last shot took my breath away....

Midlife Roadtripper said...

The new blog is beautiful. Can you do this on Blogger or must one know what they are doing? The larger photos very nice indeed.


This blog is beautiful! I love the images...very talented!

CiCi said...

Shadows and light. I have never seen a chair in this same way. Very nice. And my favorite is the lamp.

Phyllis E said...

Congrats on the new look, Cuzzie. Love being able to see the larger images without clicking. My favourite is the wine glass and candle.

Cuzzie P

P.S. Miss those little critters, though.

Karen said...

Your redo is wonderful. That is such a striking picture of your rose. You captured the light and dark in the wine and candle picture, oh, well all of them, but that one and your quotes are great.

Kelly H-Y said...

I adore the new look of your blog ... that rose is stunning! What an eye-catcher. And, the photostory, of course ... beautiful!

Leah J. Utas said...

Oooh, the sunset and the chair. What magnificent photos. Love the new layout.

steviewren said...

The last two photos are my favorites. The colors and light are wonderful.

Love your new layout as well. Is it one of Blogger's templates?

Hilary said...

I love the layout and the bigger pics........what a beautiful spot you had on the water!!
Loved this post.

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much, Cloudia. Aloha! :)

• Aloha, Tom. Nice to see you. Thank you so much for the kind words. Of course I'm not offended by your compliment. I'm flattered that you think so. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• SueAnn, thank you so kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

• Zuzana, thank you. I'm glad you like how it turned out. I'm pleased with the larger images too. Thanks always for the visit, my friend. :)

• Thank you, Tabor. I'd be afraid of losing everything to another software too. I was concerned even to change it here in blogger but it turned out ok. My trick was to start up a faux identity with a different gMail account so that I could play around with it until I got what I liked. They I mimicked it with this one. Just in case you were wondering. ;)

• Jo, thank you so much. What a very sweet thing to say. Thanks. :)

• Cricket, thank you. Frank wasn't too pleased with my drawing back the drapes at that hour either but I wasn't going to miss a great sunrise. I think we probably both conked out again after that. That door was actually a window though I can see how it looks more like a door in the photo. It's a beauty, isn't it? Thanks always for the musical soundtrack. It works for me. :)

• Thank you, Brian. I love how dramatic they can appear sometimes. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Dianne. I went back and both enlarged and darkened the quotes' text. It wasn't just your eyes but mine too. Thanks for pointing that out and thanks also for such kind words. I shall drink my next glass of Shiraz to you. :)

• Thanks, Bubblewench. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Daryl. I'm so pleased with the embiggened images too. ;)

• Linda, thanks so much for the kind words. I can't blame you for photographing cats. They make such beautiful subjects. I don't get shots of mine often enough. Thanks for that reminder. And what's NOT to love about Shiraz? ;)

• Ellen, thanks very much. It pleases me that you do. :)

• Maddie, I love the way you see that chair. I might have to hire you to write my photo descriptions from now on. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• Dawno, thanks so kindly. Very much appreciated. :)

Hilary said...

• Frank that shot was taken right over your left shoulder while you were busy reading the menu. ;) I'm glad you like the new look. :)

• Pat, it's good to see you out in circulation again. Thanks so much for the kind words. :)

• LadyCat, thanks very kindly. I'm glad you do. :)

• SD, thank you. Very much appreciated. :)

• Messymimi, thank you so much for saying so. :)

• Scarlethue, thank you kindly. :)

• MPM, thanks so much. You're always so kind. :)

• MJ, yes. This was done in Blogger but you have to switch over to their Blogger in Draft mode, click on Layouts and there you will see the Template Designer option. You can make these changes in there. I did design the header myself in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator but that's not a necessity. They have all sorts of new cool features and backgrounds that you can use. Thanks very much for stopping by. :)

• Welcome, Eneida and thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• TechnoBabe, thanks very kindly. I'm glad you like it. :)

• Cuzzie Phyl, thanks very much for that. I'm glad you like it. I will miss my critters too. Maybe one day I can adapt them into a larger header so that they work with this expanded sized blog. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Karen, thank you. I'm glad you approve. And thanks for your always kind words. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Kelly thank you so much. Your kind comments always make me smile. :)

• Thank you, Leah. I'm so pleased that you think so. :)

• Thanks very much, Steviewren. It is indeed one of Bloggers newer templates. I directed Midlife Jobhunter (six responses above this one) to Blogger in Draft where those changes can be made. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, Hilary. I'm glad you like the new look. Yes, our place really was great. The room was lovely and the view was a real treat. Thanks for the kind words. :)

Unknown said...

So very pretty Hilary! A play on Shadows and Lights. I love it : ) So super.

Pauline said...

such light! such loveliness!

Michael said...

I absolutely loved every single one. :) Thank you for sharing.

david mcmahon said...

Love the new template, Hilary, - and that third image is stunning.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

It's all exquisite! Love the new look...the rose photo...and the larger photo sizes! The larger size shows off the beauty of your captures so much better!! Simply PERFECT! I'm crazy about it ALL!! Have a wonderful weekend! ~Janine XO

SandyCarlson said...

A beautiful, beautiful post. I like the light and shadows, the warmth and quiet so very much, Hilary. Thanks.

Your new look is very, very nice. That rose--wow.

the Bag Lady said...

LOVE the new layout, and the header photo is gorgeous.
As are the rest of the pictures. You are so talented!!

christopher said...

Excellent samplings of light, dark and shadows. I liked your old layout and I like your new have a very good eye indeed.

Indrani said...

Great look, I love this! :)
I liked your theme this time, they can be very difficult to capture at times.

Unknown said...

Hilary ~~ just wow.

each and every one of these made me lean in close , wanting to soak up the wow factor.

the changes are fabulous, I'm a little overdue as well.
and behind in commenting, etc....

too many great posts like this!

JC said...

Beautiful pictures and great new blog look.

imbeingheldhostage said...

LOVE the new look and your selection of photos this week are so peaceful!

That header photo-- wow.

Sandi McBride said...

Your photographs are as much poetry as always amaze me
hugs to you

Kat said...

I think this is one of my favorite collections of your. The light in each photo is so amazing. So moody. I love them!

And I love the new set up too. I'm glad you kept the same calming, soothing green color too. :)

photowannabe said...

Hilary, I just love your new layout and header photo. its really lovely as are your light and shadow photos.
I especially like the lamp shot with the folded glasses. It gives me such a feeling of contentment.

Tammie Lee said...

Hilary, your blog looks wonderful and elegant. The rose on your header is gorgeous as are each photo of this post. Last night a friend gave me a drawing lesson, as we drew shadows and light a face appeared. I was talking about how life is all about shadows and light and then I see your post.
When I read this "“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross" you inspired a pause and appreciation rose for people who do shine in hard times.
Thank you.

Land of shimp said...

Oh Hilary, so beautiful, as usual. What a nice thing to have in a life, someone from whom you expect a lovely perspective. It's particularly warming as the snow begins to fall here, again.

Old man Winter is a curmudgeon with some staying power, but there will be a day in August where I long for the snap of cold in the air.

I've got one for you to add to your quote collection, although I've no idea who said it originally: It is better to light a single candle than to sit and curse the dark.

I don't use many quotes, I'm terribly about remembering them for one thing, Queen of the unintentional paraphrase and all that, but that one has been my friend for years and years.

Oh you've made me crave a nice glass of wine, in some dim lighting. Luckily, it's Friday night, so that could easily be in the cards! Thank you for the lovely, textured, inviting photographs.

I swear you could make me believe that there is a magic world, just off to the left of everything I see.

beth said...


and wow, those are really huge's about time blogger got on the ball and made that happen !

Mage said...

Look at that...fifty folks love your new layout. I like it too. It's refreshing. Of course, your beautiful pictures show up even better.

The chair.....oh the delight. :)

Dave said...

I nominate you for the Hilary award again Hilary! An excellent blog and such lovely big photos. Also liked the words you thoughtfully linked to each photo. I wonder if you are an early adapter of the new blogging software from I will have to make time to study this later. - Dave

ds said...

Gorgeous, every one! And I do truly love the new layout and header (miss the whimsy of the old critters, but this is much more sophisticated). Like Dickinson's dawn, your ribbons of light--and shadow--speak volumes. Thank you.

LadyFi said...

Love the wonderful new layout and colour!

Superb photos... love the shadow and light play. That picture of the golden chair is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Superb pictures Hilary. How do you get them that size? Wonderful eye.

Dianne said...

the change to the quotes is pefect :)

June said...

Jinksy sent me here to see your shadows (of the chair in particular)...and I am so very happy that she did.

Quite meditative in mood, and relaxing.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realise I liked shadows as much... great pics and great new look :0)

Hilary said...

• LWK, thanks so much. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you, Pauline. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks kindly, Cabo. I'm happy to share. :)

• David, so good to see your smiling face making the rounds. Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. :)

• Janine, good to see you, as well. Thanks very much for your kind comments. I'm pleased with the larger sized images. I'm glad you are too. :)

• Sandy, thank you so much. Your always-kind words mean so much to me. You're always so sweet and supportive. Thank you, my friend. :)

• Baggie, thank you. I like your new look too. It's fun playing around in the bowels of Blogger, isn't it? :)

• Christopher, thanks very much for such kind words. I'm glad you like my work. :)

• Indrani, thank you. I was particularly lucky to have had a lot to work with recently. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Deb, thank you kindly. I'm glad my photos wowed you! ;) I know what it's like being behind. It seems to take forever to get back to speed sometimes, doesn't it? Thanks for including me in your catch-up. :)

• JC, thank you kindly. :)

• IBHH, thanks very much. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Sandi, thank you so much. Such a lovely thing to say. Hugs right back at you! :)

Hilary said...

• Kat, your kind words are so appreciated. I'm pleased that you think so. Green is one of my favourite colours. I suspect that no matter what changes I make, it will be a part of them. At least for a while. Thanks so much for the visit. :)

• Sue, thank you so kindly. I had that same feeling from the lamp and glasses image. I'm glad that it touched you too. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Tammie Lee, don't you just love those moment if synchronicity? I love the notion that a face appeared to you in your drawings of shadows and light. I'd love to see that drawing sometime. Maybe you'll post it one day? Thank you so much for all of your very kind words. They mean a lot to me. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Alane, thank you so very kindly. You always have a way of making me feel great. That's a fine gift you have. That's the whole thing with photography in a nutshell. The magic. I might just have to quoteyou sometime. Hmmm.

I like that quote and of course had to look it up. It seems that its origins was an ancient Chinese proverb which stated "Don't curse the darkness. Light a candle" but in Chinese, of course. ;) I hope you had and enjoyed that glass of wine on Friday. I know that I did, and I toasted Dianne just as I said I would. Thanks very much for stopping by with your always encouraging and affirming words. :)

• Thank you, Beth. I agree about Blogger. I believe that we could always manage larger images if we opted to have a one column blog, but two columns restricted us to 400 pixel width images and now they can be considerably larger since we can dictate the width of the blog up to 1000 px and the main column can be a chosen percentage of that. It's MUCH better. Thanks for your visit. :)

• Maggie, thank you so much. I'm glad you like it. :)

• Dave, thank you kindly. Yes, indeed this is from Blogger's new template offerings. I quite like it and might just change my blog up a bit more often. Like more often than once every three years. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• DS, thanks so much. I kind of miss my old, silly critters too but maybe they'll make a comeback sometime in the future. You never know. Thanks always for the kind words. :)

• LadyFi, thank you. That chair really demanded my attention. I'm glad it caught yours too. Thanks so much for the visit and kind comment. :)

• Moannie, thanks very much. I have always saved my photos to approximately 1200 pixels wide which is why they'll always open larger in a new window when you double click on them. That's their actual size. Up until recently, Blogger templates could only show a width up to 400 pixels on a two column blog. Now they're allowing for some changes and photos can go considerably larger. I set my main column to be 750 pixels wide and the photos are at 640. You can learn about how to make those changes here but you'll need to sign into you blog via Blogger in Draft in order to make the changes. I hope that helps. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks for letting me know, Dianne. I'm glad. :)

• June, nice to meet you, and thanks so much for the kind words. Any friend of Jinsky's is welcome here anytime. I hope you'll be back again soon. :)

• ED, thanks so much for the kind words. I'm glad you like them. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh so beautiful! I cannot choose a favorite picture, but I do especially love the quote about stained glass windows.
Part of me will miss the whimsical header of yesteryear, but the rose is beautiful in its simplicity. Congratulations on finding a new theme/format that shows off your photographs so very well.

Unspoken said...

I LOVE the makeover!

Merisi said...

Your new layout reflects your style beautifully!
The images are gorgeous.

Sandra said...

A concert of absolutely gorgeous photography and words, Hilary.

And your new heading is such a perfect representative of your blog -- beautiful and elegant.

Steve Gravano said...

Beautiful photos. You have a great eye for the beauty in light with this series.

Hilary said...

• KC, thank you, my friend. I'll miss my critters too but they can always return sometime in the future, I suppose. Thanks for the always-kind comments. :)

• Thanks, Amy. I'm glad you do. :)

• Merisi, thanks very kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you so much, Sandra. You never fail to make me smile. :)

• Thank you kindly, Steve. Very much appreciated. :)

lime said...

love the new template and that stained glass picture is stunning!

Country Girl said...

Oh, my heavens. This is all so beautiful. You amaze me. And that was a curtain pattern? Wowza!

Hilary said...

• Thanks kindly, Lime. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks so much, Kate. I thought of you when I saw how the curtain pattern turned out. It made me think of one of your texture patterns. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Kerri Farley said...

These take my breath away Hilary ~ WOW!

Hilary said...

Thank you, Kerri. :)