|Candace Nirvana - 020813 - SB|
In a literal sense, I discovered very early in my Photoshopping career that reality is whatever the shadows say it is. How do you know that male model has abs of steel? The shadows tell you so. How do you know that beautiful woman has a flat tummy and perfect skin? The absence of shadows tells you so. Setting, mood, tone ... all can be understood - or altered- through shadow.
Metaphorically - and more vitally - shadows are not absolute. They are endless shades on a vast spectrum. It's impossible to tell exactly where they begin or end, and to define them by a single pixel is meaningless. Simply put, nothing is black and white, it's all glorious shades of gray. Stay with me here a moment longer, dear readers ... wait for it ...
We ARE the shadows. The human experience is never absolute, despite our neurotic penchant for categorization and labels. No real, honest, self-aware person is ever so easily defined. Liberal/Conservative. Straight/Gay. Wise/Naive. Happy/Sad. Ambitious/Lazy. White/Black. Young/Old. Dominant/Submissive. Generous/Selfish. Wild/Boring. None of these define us. All of these define us. They are extreme points on a spectrum, on which we may lounge near the midpoint, cling stubbornly to the far right or left, or bounce wildly from day to day, experience to experience.
Just as photographers may experiment with shifting light and shadows to express very different visions, each of us is a daily experiment in shadow ... concealing, exposing, emphasizing, downplaying elements of ourselves. The challenge is to do so consciously! The best of artists have purpose ... a method to their madness. So too the greatest of people consider why they choose what they choose. Are you trying to gain social acceptance? Are you perpetuating a familial pattern? Are you parroting others without independent thought? Are you rebelling for purpose or for rebellion's sake? There are no right or wrong answers - shadows are not good or bad - seize your own power and be conscious enough to shape them with your light!
|Both Sides - 020813 - Miz B|