Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shadows and Light

Today, I have a collection of shadow and light photos shot recently. All of them were taken on sunny days - some indoors, some outside. I hope you enjoy them.

shadows and light4
Shadows from the vertical bars combined with the horizontal lines of a Venetian blind created a woven appearance across the seat of this chair.

one fruit
Deep within the shadows, one single fruit remains on this twig while the sunlight dapples the branches behind it. If you look closely, you can see that a tiny feather or seed clings to the right side of the fruit. I couldn't tell which, as this was taken from a significant distance with awkward terrain between me and the subject. Plus, I only noticed it upon uploading the image.

cabinet reflection
At my cousin's house last week, I happened to notice a Star of David window ornament as it caught the light and reflected in the glass of her buffet. It took about a dozen shots before I finally captured the red sparkle that my eye was seeing but the camera was not.

Most of this bush was in shadow but the sun warmed this single branch of berries. This plant is what keeps the Mockingbird (seen in the previous post) coming back.

zeph b w
This is my beautiful Zephyr with sunlight streaming in on his soft, silky coat. He's incredibly affectionate and we love him dearly. He is also an enormous klutz, unintentionally knocking things down at least twice a day. How embarrassing for a cat which is ordinarily such an agile creature, you'd think but he's quite oblivious to his furry deeds. Zephyr is not the brightest cat I've ever had, nor is he close to as curious and sociable as his brother, Skittles but he will almost always "purr on demand" - at least for my son and me. He also responds to his name with a quick meow. I've had long conversations with him as we each utter a sound to one another in response to the previous word or meow. One day, I'll try to record one of our chats (which also happens to be French for cats) and post it for you.

edge of ice3
The section of the pond which melted last week remains open despite the drop in temperatures which followed shortly afterward. On this late afternoon, the sunlight illuminated that point where ice meets water, and where ducks and geese warmed their feathers while some napped and others rummaged for food.

Thanks for joining me in the shadows and light.


Kristina P. said...

My favorite is the Star of David shot.

ellen abbott said...

I never tire of looking at your photos.

DJan said...

That first picture just knocked my socks off! You continue to amaze me with your talent to see the beauty in the world. I'm learning, slowly... And the portrait of Zephyr is just beautiful.

Tammie Lee said...

wonderful images of shadows and light, two of my favorite things ;-}

Glo said...

I love discoveries like the feather on the fruit when I download photos,too. Your observant and discerning eye is apparent in your eye-popping photos. Seeing beyond, behind, beneath and between shadowlight adds such dimension. Enjoyed the commentary along with the pictures. Looking forward to 'le chat' chat.

Frank Baron said...

The chair and Star of David shots are especially fine and Zeph is certainly a handsome fellow. :)

Anonymous said...

All so beautiful - I love how light and shadow play with each other. My favorite is the one of Zephyr. What a sweet face!

Anyes said...

Light and shadows, such a beautiful collection photographs and a very nice metaphor for life. Thank you Hilary :-)

ADRIAN said...

A good set but the first image is world class.

Bob Bushell said...

The first image is by far the greatest, but all the rest of are outstanding.

Anonymous said...

Great shots... My favorites are the two indoor shots and the zephyr.....

I love the intricate pattern formed by the shadows in the first shot... Nice composition.

I like the flickr of the bulb and also the silehoutte of the Cup in that shelf..

you talk to zephyr in french !!

Brian Miller said...

oh i really like the texture of the shadow in the first and the light int eh star in the window...

Indrani said...

Beautiful play of light and shadows, great abstract ones. Zephyr's portrait is good.

Out on the prairie said...

Very nice captures. It is hard to catch what the eye sees. I tried it a lot with ice and snow reflections.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OH! Wee little Zephyr :)

Hilary said...

The first pic is my favorite. And the kitty, of course.
My daughter has a cat like that....he will answer every utterance you make to him.
Incredible to me how they have such distinct personalities, in their kitty world.

Steve Gravano said...

Zephyr is so beautiful, you have an award winning portrait here! Nice collection of shadows and light the Star of David and the chair are very impressive.

Sridharan said...


steviewren said...

One of my frustrations with the camera is that it hardly ever captures exactly what I see. (some of that could be my skills) Your Star of David shot is amazing.

Pauline said...

Your photographs always tell as much a story as your comments. You have an eye for the magical as well as a knack for words. Combined, they make your posts such a pleasure to read!

messymimi said...

Love your shadow and light images.

Glad your cat at least talks back when you converse. Mine just look at me like i should already know what they are thinking.

Tabor said...

So hard for me to keep up with all my blogger friends, but glad I caught this post. You are really having fun with the camera, an addiction that I understand so well. I have a similar photo to the dried fruit (somewhere in my many files.) That first photo is intriguing and I need to work on my ability to see beauty such as this.

Naqvee said...

your thoughts make your photos speak. the feather spoke a lot about that fruit. have fun

Unknown said...

gorgeous, all of them.
The Star of David is mesmerizing.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Our birds keep coming back to the berry bushes too, Mostly the cardinals who love to hide in and behind them.


Ruth Hiebert said...

I love all these pictures.I believe that this post proves once again,that when we have a camera in hand we stop and really look at things.A photographer may see things no one else does.Great post.

June said...

Zephyr talks the way MiMau does, then.
MM: Prrt?
Me: Prrt.
MM: Prrt, maaoo!
Me: Prrt?
MM: Mmmmmaaaooo!
Me: Maaoo?
...and on and on.

She's quite graceful.
I supply the klutzy.

Anvilcloud said...

What did you eventually do to get the star: underexpose?

Having probably never gotten a good shot of geese, I really like that one. Fine lighting and exposure.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

I am looking forward to your chats chats! I always look forward to seeing your latest images Hilary, and have never been disappointed. Love the shadows on the chair. Light and all of its creations ... well ... it is beyond words.

Anonymous said...

Amazing shots! That first one is so artistic!

Mental P Mama said...

Always a treat! Love that Start of David shot!

Anonymous said...

I love them all, expecially the first shot.

Karen said...

Great theme for these shots! Love it!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

These are lovely, Hilary. Zephyr has such an intense look on his face, I wondered if he was looking at some of your bird photos. The Star of David looks as if it is electrically lit. I did see the feather on the fruit, but I wouldn't have if you hadn't mentioned it. And how in the world can a bird sleep with it's head twisted around backwards and while standing on its feet. One of the mysteries of life.

Dawning Inspiration said...

Love the series....

And am looking forward to the French lesson with your kitty! ;o)

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

Lovely ~ thank you for sharing your perspective of shadow and light in these beautiful images.

SandyCarlson said...

My favorite is the Start shot, too. That intense sunlight is really beautiful through that marvelous icon. The soft light and the warmth are wonderful in these.

Country Girl said...

Beautiful, Hilary. Loved them all ~

You definitely need to record the french kitty speak.

Rebecca said...

you always have great photos

Bossy Betty said...

So beautiful! Please tell Zephyr Bon Jour for me!!!

Anonymous said...

All wonderful, but my favorite --if I must choose one-- is the very first, with patterns galore.

Pat Hatt said...

Ooooh the pictures are really nice, I had to look at them twice.
The cat is really pretty, but I'm way more witty.
I licked my lips at the ducks, as this cat can't eat them that sucks.
Oh I'd just toy with them a bit, until they got up and get.
It's the mice I eat, for them you can't beat.
Shadows were so great, you just have a way of getting them before it's too late.
Love the pics, just don't do any of banjo playing country

Hilary said...

• Kristina, I'm glad you like it. Thanks for letting me know. :)

• Thank you, Ellen. That's such a nice thing to say. :)

• DJan, thank you so kindly. There was a time not too long ago that I would have thought "I like the way the shadows look on that chair but that would make such a dull photograph." Now I know better. Thanks for your kind words.. from Zephyr too. :)

• Tammie Lee, thanks very much. They are the essence of photography. :)

• Glo, thank you so much. Don't you just love when some element of the photo becomes apparent long after it drew you in to begin with? Happy little surprises. Thanks very much for such kind words. I'm glad you enjoy my posts. :)

• Thanks, Frank.. for the compliment and for not remarking on Zeph's intellect. ;)

• Barbara, thank you. He's a really sweet cat, for sure. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Anyes, thank you very kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed my post. :)

• Thank you, Adrian. It's very kind of you to say so. :)

• Bob, thank you kindly. :)

• TVF, thank you so much. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I don't talk to him in French but it did occur to me that when I wrote chats (meaning talks in English) that it also happened to mean cats en fran├žais so I thought I'd drop that in. It takes most of Zephyr's brain power to converse in feline, much less English or French. ;)

• Thanks, Brian. I'm pleased to hear it. :)

• Indrani, thank you. I'm glad you like them. :)

• Steve, thank you. Ice and snow reflections are indeed difficult to capture. I so often see the glittery snow which just never translates the same through the lens. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Gary, there's nothing wee about Zephyr (except for his meow). He's a BIG fella! :)

• Hilary, cat's never fail to amaze and amuse me. I had another one (also gray and white) who would answer me too, but she'd get really ticked off to hear her name and with each response (more like a muttering under her breath), her tail would thrash about in irritation. Eventually she would end the chat with a hiss and her departure.. as if I was holding her captive to begin with. Crazy felines - gotta love them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Steve, thank you so much. That means a lot to me coming from a fine photographer such as you. :)

• Thank you, Sridharan. :)

• Thank you so much, Steviewren. I know what you mean. That's where tweaking the shutter speed or aperture come in handy. They help to mimic what you see but sometimes you just have to settle for the mental image. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Pauline, thank you so much for your lovely comment. That means a great deal to me coming from a fine wordsmith such as yourself and I feel the same about your posts. Thanks so much for brightening my day. :)

• Messymimi, thank you. Surely with all of the cats you've had a hand in raising, there have been at least a few who have vocalize with you? Cats are wonderful, crazy creatures, eh? :)

Hilary said...

• Tabor, I know how difficult it is to catch up after you've been away for a while but I'm glad you stopped by, too. Your kind words are always much appreciated. :)

• Naqvee, thank you kindly. Such a lovely thing to say. :)

• Thank you, Deb. I couldn't stop focusing on it until I captured what I saw, so I suppose you're right. ;)

• Thanks, Di. It's nice to have a place you know they can rely on. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Ruth, I think you're so right. I look at my surroundings quite differently since I've been walking with my camera. Everything is a potential photograph. It helps me to see beauty I would have once overlooked and for that, I'm very grateful. Thank you for the visit. :)

• June, not only the dialogue but the pronunciation too! Zephyr has a very high-pitched (considering he's such a solid-looking cat) maaooooo - a very questioning sound. Felines are wonderful, are they not? Thanks for stopping by. :)

• AC, I just kept at it. I changed my shutter speed slightly but mostly I think I just needed to get it at the right moment. The star of David was moving ever so slightly with the forced air and I needed to capture it in mid-sparkle. Thanks so much for the comment. Much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Bonnie. Your very kind words mean a lot to me. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And I'll work at getting that chat's chit-chat sometime soonish. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you so much, Lady Fi. :)

• MPM, thanks very much. :)

• Welcome, Sandy and thanks very kindly. :)

• Thanks very much, Karen. :)

• Thank you, Linda. Zephyr always has that intense look on his face unless he's getting a belly rub. The look means one of two things - "are you going to feed me?" or "OMG, are you getting the vacuum out? I'm going to die!" Each are followed by a run downstairs. In the case of the first one, it's to his bowl in the kitchen. The second thought brings him all the way to the basement where he hides for the following hour. If he's not giving me that look, it means he's already eating, sleeping or getting a belly rub. That's all there is to know about Zephyr. ;) I'm not sure about how those ducks and geese sleep that way. How does a horse stay on his feet while he's sleeping? Gotta love critters. Thanks so much for always stopping by and leaving me a smile. :)

• SD, I'll have to remember to work on that. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Welcome, Walk in the Woods, and thank you very much for such kind words. :)

• Thank you, Sandy. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. Your warm comments always mean a lot to me. :)

• Thanks, Kate. I'll see what I can do with the kitty cam. ;)

• Thank you, Becca. :)

• Thanks, Betty. I did, and he responded with a very French purr. ;)

• Thanks, KC. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• Thank you, Pat. From me and my cat.
I was planning on hicks but with ukuleles and picks
But they wouldn't oblige, no matter how hard I tried
So after kitties were fed, I shot shadows instead. ;)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hilary, You did it again. This are all so beautiful... and that Star of David is stunning.
Have a great week, jj

Cloudia said...

Clap Clap!!!!

You da best!

Aloha from Honolulu,

Comfort Spiral


VM Sehy Photography said...

We are thinking alike. Your chair and my bench. I love the way the shadows weave on that photo. My other favorite is the Star of David. That burst of light from the ornament is awesome.

Zuzana said...

I recall that when I used to paint as a young woman, I always saw the objects as "shadows and light". As ultimately that is what gives them life and gives the painting a certian perspective.;)
Love the story of Zephyr.;)
And as always, your photography is beuatiful.

Dave said...

I enjoyed your photos as usual Hilary, specially the chair with light and shadow, and was captivated by the big photo of Zephyr. We have conversations with Alfie too. Cats can be very sociable huh? - Dave

Sueann said...

I enjoyed your photos very much!! So beautiful!! And your kitty is gorgeous!! A klutz huh? Too funny!!! Poor kitty!!

She Who Carries Camera said...

I'm late to the party again, but better late than never as they say!

I'm not sure I can choose a fave on this post, but I do really love the Star of David capture!

Unknown said...

Love that you had the patience to capture the red glint from the Star of David ornament. And love the shot of Zephyr; he reminds me of my Tiger who was also a klutzy cat, jumping onto a table and just pushing aside anything in his way. Got to where I had to use museum wax underneath anything I valued or else it'd be on the floor, in many pieces.

Suldog said...

Ah, the Star shot answers a question for me: How many shots you might take to get the one you desire. I suppose the number varies greatly. Somehow, it's nice to know that everything doesn't magically fall into place for you the first time, and perhaps I could become a decent photographer if I had more patience (which I don't, but it's nice to know it could be a possibility.)

Friko said...

Naturally, I like the chat best, how could it be otherwise. But all of the photos are beautiful.

Reb said...

Beautiful as always Hilary. Love the shot of Zephyr.

Anonymous said...

Wow, some absolutely brilliant shots here.
I like the birds at the end of the post.

tattytiara said...

It could not have been easy to catch the light on that ornament, no, but you definitely got all the drama in the end. Zephyr looks like such a sweetheart! My eldest cat and I answer each other too - it's always nice to have somebody to talk to who responds positively to absolutely anything you say!

Dawn said...

I love looking at your photos. They are a perfect way to end my long days.
Thank you.
As usual your photos are absolutely stunning.
Love your sweet kitty...and would love to hear your conversations!

Have a wonderful week!

MaggieGem said...

Amazing light in the first photo, love the photo of Zephyr too! You have a great eye!

photowannabe said...

Love your shadows and light. the pattern on the chair and your sweet kitty are stunning photos.
Your talent is a bright spot on my gloomy day.

Hilary said...

• Joanna, thank you so much. Your always-kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, Cloudia. :)

• VM, yes. I noticed that right off the bat, yesterday. Thanks so much for the kind comments. :)

• Zuzana, welcome back. There's no doubt about what you said - light and shadows sure do make an image very real - whether photographed or painted. There was once a time I would see that beauty with my eye, but wouldn't consider taking a photo of it because the object itself was nothing interesting. Now I know better. It's the shadows and light which give it its appeal. Thanks always for stopping by and for the kind words, my friend. :)

• Thanks very much, Dave. You're so right. Cats are never boring and always a wonder. Thanks for the visit. :)

• SueAnn, thank you. Yes, he's a tremendous klutz. Or maybe I just have too many things hanging around for him to knock over. Nah, he's a klutz. ;)

• Thanks, Jillsy. You're never late. Any time you show up is right on time. :)

• Thanks very much, Jane. I think it was more stubbornness than patience which gave me the shot of the Star of David. Your Tiger and my Zephyr certainly sound like they could have been kindred spirits - big fluffy bulls in china shops. Good idea that museum wax. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Suldog, the number does indeed vary greatly. Something like a sunset might have me snapping several dozen shots. This Star of David sparkle kept eluding me and that was sheer stubbornness which made me keep trying. I'm glad I did though. Occasionally, I'll only get one shot at something (kids and creatures have their own agendas) and I'm very lucky if it turns out. I think you could certainly be a great photographer if you truly want to be one. You know what you like and it's just a matter of noticing and capturing it. And luck. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Friko, who wouldn't love a cat? Thanks for the kind comment. :)

• Thanks, Reb. I kind of thought you would. :)

• Thank you, Your kind words are very much appreciated. :)

• TattyTiara, thanks very much. Zephyr truly is a sweet, gentle giant of a cat. Both of my cats are incredibly gentle guys. I think that all of us who have cats that talk back should record it. We could call it Cats - The Meowsical. ;)

• Dawn, thank you for such a nice comment. That means so much to me. :)

• Maggie Gem, thank you kindly. :)

• Sue, thank you. Your kind words always brighten my day, in turn. Thanks for that. :)

Liz Mays said...

Absolutely gorgeous! That little feather almost looks like one of those little bits of dandelion fluff.

Your photos are just wondrous!

Clowncar said...

so nice - the crosshatching shadows on the chair, the star of david in the window. you have a gift.

Geraldine said...

What a beautiful collection! I love your kitty,so cute. And the Star of David was very special. Love them all!

Dianne said...

the star of david shot is amazing

Zephyr is so beautiful

Unknown said...

I smiled at your mention conversations that included French for Cats! : )

Zephyr sounds like a great Cat to me !!

Hilary said...

• Blueviolet, thanks very much. It might well be a dandelion seed. I wasn't sure if it was a seed or a feather. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Clowncar, thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. :)

• Geraldine, thanks for they kind words. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Dianne, I thought you might be like Zephyr. I'm glad you stopped by. Thanks :)

• Michael, he sure is. Thanks for the visit. :)

Pat - Arkansas said...

:::sigh::: Your photographs are food for my soul!

Scott Law said...

A very eclectic and interesting collection today. I like all of them but found the shadows on the chair really interesting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, do I love that first one! But all are great. :)

Kat said...

That chair photo is awesome! I love it! :)

Hilary said...

• Thank you so much, Pat. Such a lovely compliment. :)

• Thanks very much, Scott. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

• Sandra, thanks kindly, my friend. :)

• Thanks, Kat. Much appreciated. :)

Unknown said...

The chair! Love the light and shadow!

Kelly H-Y said...

Such striking pictures!

Hilary said...

• Thanks very much, Susan. :)

• Thank you kindly, Kelly. :)