Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shadow Shots in Black and White

Shadow Shot Sunday
April 3, 2011
Shadow Shot Sunday is a popular meme started by Tracy from Brisbane, Queensland. Her blog is called Hey Harriet and you can see more Shadow Shots and find out the guidelines for participation by checking out the site. I think this is where I'm suppose to say:  Gabba Gabba Hey!

After leaving Chicago for the Northern reaches of Minnesota in 1974, I fell upon hard times as I looked for gainful employment, of which none was around. I did have a benefit from my service in the US Army. Something called the Montgomery GI Bill.

The GI Bill allowed for tuition and some living expenses to be paid to a Veteran while attending school. I took advantage of this in that jobless market and as I continued to look for a job, I attended college classes at Lakewood Community College in the Saint Paul suburb of White Bear Lake, MN. After completing enough classes and earning enough credits from Lakewood for an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts, I enrolled at Metropolitan State University, which was, at that time in history, a fledgling University that was competency based.

It took me a total of nine years of post-secondary education, but I ultimately ended up with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Human Services with a Minor in Outdoor Education. My first college class was at Triton College in suburban Chicago in 1970, immediately upon being discharged from the Army. I graduated in 1979 from Metro State University in St. Paul, MN.  One of the elective courses I took for the Outdoor Education portion of my Minor was a photography class.

This photography class was taken long before the digital age. I used a 35 mm film camera for all my assignments. The final exam was based on a Black and White series. I took a couple of rolls of film, mostly at what was then the Federal Reserve Building in downtown Minneapolis. I also carried my camera with me around town and found numerous subjects to add to my portfolio for this final exam.

This is a stock photo of the old Feceral Reserve Building in Minneapolis, MN


The Shadow Shots that I submit today were found while looking through piles of old photos, spending time that way during one of those gloomy days we’ve had as we wait patiently for Spring. It was rather unusual as streetlights are not usually seen in this configuration, that is, leaning against the pole. The shadows are subtle. These subtleties are what make the photo stand out in my opinion, the unique subject matter notwithstanding.

I stood back and took a couple more photos of the damaged street light. The black and white film and accompanying saturation of the central image as well as its surroundings draw me into these photos. Can’t remember the settings on the camera and even though I got a passing grade in the class, I didn’t get an “A” because I didn’t write them down.

Here are a couple more shots of the broken light. I'm not sure how it got itself into this compromising position. I could assume a storm or possibly an errant driver hit the pole. Clicking on any photo will give an enlarged view.



Catherine said...

interesting shots and a great story to go with them....

Gemma Wiseman said...

Fascinating flow of shadows! And enjoyed the story embedded in this post!

A Wild Thing said...

How weird is that, but I've learned not to question the powers of the storms here in the Midwest, they are awesome and they are dangerous...but boy do I get some great shots of them!
I just hope we don't get one tonight or tomorrow, gotta paint the coop...not that's some important s__t...priorities you know.

Finally got to spend some warm time out in my lil' medicine wheel yesterday, the cedars are encircling it just spiffy, soon it'll be in total isolation from the view of the 4-lane, no problem while I'm sitting...but then there's that pesky noise factor...oh well, it usually can be drowned out in the midst of thought...have a great weekend!!!


Mel said...

Encircled by cedars--now there's a grand idea!

And yup--who knows how that light got there, but wow, did it!
Pretty amazing to stumble upon that, let alone capture it so well on 35mm film. Well done you!

I'm afraid I'da never made a good photography student.

*scratching head*
Yeah right......


Sylvia K said...

Really enjoyed reading your story and enjoying your great captures as well! Hope your weekend is going well!


Marilyn & Jeff said...

Great photos and I appreciate the story behind them. I don't know how to use my camera other than point and shoot!

Grammy said...

When I first looked at the photo with out reading > The thought. A flying saucer jumped in my head. LOL
Great shots!

EG CameraGirl said...

Fun to hear the story behind the shots, Spadoman!

I wouldn't enjoy having to write down the settings I use when I take a photo. The technicalities take away all the fun, I think!

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

I'm so glad you explained what it was of! I couldn't figure it out! I too, have a stash of b/w photos from a photography class I took in the '70's! keep thinking I'll scan them so that I can post them. But, too many 'senior' moments! ; )

Hey Harriet said...

These are great shots and it's a real treat to see 'film' photos in this digital age! I loved reading the story behind the photos too! Have a great week ahead :)

Hootin Anni said...

So artful!! Loved reading how you accomplished so much in such a short time.

Monarch Butterfly Link

Happy Sunday.

Anonymous said...

A very good story to go with excellent photos. My big camera makes me lazy, with its 'intelligent auto' setting - too often I point the camera and it picks the correct setting for me!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Joe you have lead a very interesting life indeed : )
The first thing I thought of when I realized it was a street light .. was the automated "eye" from the aliens in "War of the Worlds" .. the classic one not the Tome C. thing .. we won't talk about that right ?
It is amazing to look back on our lives and what we have seen and done .. cameras that actually use film ? .. what a concept ? LOL
Great story with space age pictures! wink wink
I had a wonderful garden day .. communing with earth and sheep manure BIG *SMILE* hehehe

J.Rylie.C said...

So pretty! I am now following your blog.

Would you please drop by and see my shadows? Would love to see you!

mig said...

It's a fascinating shot. I can see how you'd want to get a photo and it's a great result.

E Makes Art said...

There's just something about black and white... I love it. Great shots. Poor lamp post ; ) I took some photo classes 5-6years ago and we used B&W film in it. Even though now I'm all digital I still think film is superior in it's look and quality. You can't beat it. Now you got me wanting to scan some of my photos to share with you all! Thanks for the inspiration. And thanks for sharing a bit of your interesting background with us!


Oh, and thank you for your input on my shadow shots and for the compliment! Made my day! : )