Week 1: Shadow patterns
Hello friends! I hope you’re just as excited as me to start on our very first prompt, shadow patterns. In case you missed it, I published FAQs and tips for setting yourself up for success. Use the comments section below and the Chat feature in the app to discuss the prompt and post your creations!
The ideaof shadow patterns makes you focus not on what we would usually see—the main subject—and instead, observe a black, gray, monotonous moment; it forces us to ignore the color and details. Patterns can be created or found with sun or artificial light. When walking around, you may find that the fire escape casts a sharp shadow on the building’s side. Shadows can be soft, sharp, looming, frightening, and inspiring.
Examples & directions to go:
Take a walk and observe the patterns that draw you in
Pluck leaves or a set of leaves (like a fern) and simulate shadows
Use colored lights and create your own shadows
Write the mention of shadow patterns into a flash fiction piece
Mood board & inspiration:
Suggested as a photo prompt a while ago by a friend and subscriber!
I did my prompt yesterday: https://digest.jennchen.com/p/new-year-dumplings-made-with-sadness. I didn't mean for it to be part of an essay here but that's what happened.
Limitations of Shadow Patterns
Shadow patterns are a phenomenon that only exist within the context of light. At least, they can only be recognized or perceived by the human visual system with light present. The light exposes shadow patterns and as long as we have light, we will be able to distinguish them.
The life of shadow patterns is innately shrouded in secrecy. Exposed and yet we are unable to subject them to 24-hour surveillance. They can cover and they are also covered. Not only due to their composition, but also due to their manifestation.
Shadow patterns represent a convergence of the Earth, light, creatures, and objects. All converging and creating a unique representation. Light dictates the locale and the timing of the convergence.
If light moves or matter moves then shadow patterns must move. They cannot move independently. For even shadow patterns have limitations. Autonomy is not within their depth - although they possess immeasurable depth and seemingly have a will of their own. Their locus of control is outside of them.
Some say that shadow patterns dance. If they dance then they dance in response to light waves – which are moving quite fast, really fast. This means that shadows can dance to the speed of light. They can somehow keep step, in rhythm with light while staying tethered to matter – matter pertaining to the Earth.
These patterns are not just to be cast. They allow for a new visual interpretation of a solid form. Demonstrating their ability to vision cast. Their appearance may be clearer than we can perceive since they are attached to the form in which they are cast from.
Shadow patterns are mysterious and yet limited – at least in the Earth realm. There are rumors and evidence of a shadow realm. A realm where shadows are at liberty and untethered. It must be nice for them to have a space where they are limitation free.
-Erica Chadé (1/22/23)