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Photo Challenge: In The SHADOW

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“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”  Abraham Lincoln

Photo Challenge: In the Shadow

Photo Challenge: In the Shadow

My Shadow By Robert Louis Stevenson via PoetryFoundation
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all. Continued Below

What is your memory of the shadow/shadows? In case you are wondering, we now have the weekly photo challenge on Wednesdays instead of Fridays. It works for me this week because,  yesterday, we had a major emergency at home that threw my entire day into one chaotic, watery mess. Everything is under control now but, the aftermath is still being handled and for that I am grateful. That said, the topic for this photo challenge took me back to a favorite childhood poem that I always enjoyed reciting: My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson. I have included it in block quotes above and below. The photo challenge and poem brought back playful memories of dancing and goofing off with childhood friends, in the sun and shade, as we tried to create all sorts of shadowy shapes and figures. In the world of psychology, the shadow has a much more powerful role and each of us have our share of archetypes and shadows that encourage or discourage us.

What is a shadow? According to Wikipedia, a shadow is a dark area where light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object. It is divided into the umbra, penumbra and antumbra. which determine the point of light cast by the shadow. The sun plays an important part in how shadows are cast and it changes throughout the day. The depth of our created shadow also depends on our location and what else is around us. When the Earth casts a shadow on the moon, it is called a lunar eclipse. On the other hand, when the Moon casts a shadow on the Earth, it is a solar eclipse. Such a fascinating subject with much more to learn.

More below!
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Photo Challenge: In the Shadow

Photo Challenge: In the Shadow

My Shadow By Robert Louis Stevenson via PoetryFoundation Stanza I & II above
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

What about you and your experiences? I have to admit that I’ve always been fascinated with shadows and how they reflect an image in a different light, and cast a hue over a real image by smoothing out certain portions and creating a distorted, reverse and darker image. Shadows can be fun too for kids; if you ever saw the nutty, British puppet show Punch and Judy in shadowy relief, you’d really come to understand how our shadow reveals portions of ourselves in sane and sinister ways… Hope you enjoyed my images with shadows in them.

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Weekly Photo Challenge Post: – SHADOW – This week, hunt for shadows and incorporate them into your shot. The shadow can be the focal point of the image, or simply a detail that adds texture and makes the scene a bit more dynamic. We look forward to your submissions!


Have a relaxing day!

Positive Motivation Tip: Stay true to who you are and embrace your shadow self.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All other Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet






102 Comments leave one →
  1. Wren permalink
    08/02/2017 5:04 pm

    Shadows can be work of arts! I think as a kid I played around with my shadow a few times, lots of fun, even now playing with my kids… we are fascinated with our shadows.

  2. Amber permalink
    08/02/2017 5:16 pm

    Shadows can be pretty cool. I personally have always loved shadow puppets. Some people are so talented when they make some!

  3. Sondra Barker permalink
    08/02/2017 5:44 pm

    This is such a great idea! Doing photo challenges like this will definitely help stimulate your mind and how you see things, very creative.

  4. natalielovesbeauty permalink
    08/02/2017 6:16 pm

    I’ve always been fascinated by how people can bring shadows to life by positioning their hands in a certain way. While I was in Italy, a street performer put together a show doing just that, it was very impressive.

  5. Krysten permalink
    08/02/2017 7:07 pm

    I think that shadows are amazing, they give such a dramatic experience to photographs. They also give an amazing feeling to real life, when the sun starts setting and it’s a pinkish light with deep shadows, you get this great rush of emotions.

  6. Steven Goodwin permalink
    08/02/2017 7:23 pm

    I love taking photos and showcasing the shadows! It makes for a nice contrast or reflection picture without the need for water! My favorite time to take shadow pics is either in the early morning with the sunrise or late sunset since the shadows tend to be extended greatly! Also, I love standing in the shadow of something blocking the sun and getting the reflection of the object coming towards me creating some amazing symmetry!

  7. Kaitlin permalink
    08/02/2017 7:56 pm

    I never gave much thought to shadows, but there is something mysterious and interesting about them. I will have to try this photo challenge. I hope your emergency is ok now! Sounds like it was very frustrating.

  8. Andrea Broom permalink
    08/02/2017 8:28 pm

    Shadows are really interesting and when you get into photography that can actually add an edge to the photo.

  9. Author Brandi Kennedy permalink
    08/02/2017 8:33 pm

    This was a lovely post and it was fun to see how you connected this week’s word both with the poem you so loved and the memories you made as a child. Shadow play is such a universal fun for children – mine love it too.

  10. Chloe permalink
    08/02/2017 8:43 pm

    I love when I am able to capture shadows in a photograph. I feel it gives it more depth and story. I used to love doing shadow play as a child, learning how to use my hands to create different animals!

  11. Julie Porter permalink
    08/02/2017 9:57 pm

    I remember the Robert Louis Stevenson poem from childhood too. I always liked it. I can remember being fascinated with my shadow as a child, I would always try to out-walk or out run it. I love how your post always bring up great childhood memories for me!

  12. Eileen permalink
    08/02/2017 10:10 pm

    I have a few photos of me and my dog’s shadows. It is so much fun, my dog looks as big as a husky in the photo when in fact, his belly is only a few inches from the ground. I have been fascinated by shadows since I was a child and they are sometimes a favorite photo op subject. I have to find a nice well lit place tonight and take more photos!

  13. kcdauda permalink
    08/02/2017 11:58 pm

    I love your positive motivation tips at the bottom. I’m so terrible at capturing shadows or anything interesting in my photos. I need to learn to be more creative when it comes to taking photos as I always just go with what I know.

  14. Sarah Bailey permalink
    09/02/2017 3:39 am

    We can define shadow by every means. A diminished light caused by the blocking of a light source, a protection, a shelter… a ghost. And some say if we look at it psychologically, a shadow is the unknown dark side of our personality. Whatever it is, for me shadow is the shade that I used to play in the dark with my hands doing some shape of a dog, cat, rabbit and different shadowy shapes and figures.

  15. Tessa S permalink
    09/02/2017 4:19 am

    I really enjoyed reading this – and I love poetry. Great photos.

  16. aimlessmoments permalink
    09/02/2017 4:26 am

    I love your shadow pics. My kids like to do shadow drawings. They will go outside and find something that is creating a shadow, stick a huge piece of paper under it, and draw it.

  17. Wanderlust Vegans permalink
    09/02/2017 5:11 am

    I really like shadows and find that they make images and art more interesting. There is something appealing about the shadows and the contrast between light and darkness. Shadows might life more interesting.

  18. Annette Yedlin permalink
    09/02/2017 6:14 am

    I just love all your photos! I have never really thought about taking pics of shadows. What a great idea!

  19. Bhushavali permalink
    09/02/2017 6:52 am

    I’ve also been fascinated by shadows! Esp very interesting architecture products very interesting shadows. Also stained glasses of churches creates such gorgeous shadows!!!

  20. Euge Nia permalink
    09/02/2017 8:26 am

    Love your point of view about shadows! Amazing quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Shadow helps to see the reality!

  21. Jo (Fallen Angel) permalink
    09/02/2017 8:53 am

    Lovely photographs. My brothers and I used to make shadow characters using our hands when we were little, gave us hours of fun!

  22. Anita Anderson permalink
    09/02/2017 10:38 am

    I have never really thought much of a shadow. I laugh now when my daughter was younger, she would run to see if her shadow was still behind her.

  23. bethany1980 permalink
    09/02/2017 11:19 am

    These are great photos, you did a great job with this challenge.

  24. Heather permalink
    09/02/2017 11:23 am

    There’s a saying out there about light and dark and that light would be indistinguishable if we didn’t have darkness. I think these contrasts can really give you perspective on beauty too. Not physical beauty, but the beauty in nature and things that contrast…and of course shadows. I for lone love to watch the shadows of trees swaying in the breeze on the wall of my office. It’s very pretty for me.

  25. Cynthia Nicoletti permalink
    09/02/2017 12:16 pm

    I enjoyed reading about what you did in your childhood. I see shadows as a reflection of a different me.

  26. Ana De-Jesus permalink
    09/02/2017 12:17 pm

    Isn’t that the same guy who wrote Treasure Island? What an insightful man, loved reading this as always hun xx

  27. 09/02/2017 12:30 pm

    As kids we use chalk to capture our shadows on the concrete. As an adult and weekend amateur photographer shadows drive me crazy. I’m always trying to get away from them. lol……Great pictures.

  28. 2momsandababyblog permalink
    09/02/2017 12:49 pm

    “Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Martin Luther King, Jr. I absolutely love this quote! It’s so true! There is always so much more than what meets the eye!

  29. MyYellowApron permalink
    09/02/2017 1:08 pm

    When I was a kid, I used to get fascinated by the fact that, how my shadow was taller than me and I see the same wonder in my 4 year old’s eyes.

  30. Stef permalink
    09/02/2017 1:48 pm

    I love the quote from Abraham lincoln about a shadow and a tree. Great quotes are so veey inspiring.

  31. deesignplay permalink
    09/02/2017 1:55 pm

    I love shadow photography as in I love capturing silhouettes more than portraits. Always adds an interesting perspective when you try to capture the shadows!

  32. The Trophy WifeStyle permalink
    09/02/2017 2:14 pm

    Shadows always remind me of darker times! Thankfully shadows go away with sunlight so dark times will always pass

  33. kemomilo permalink
    09/02/2017 3:17 pm

    My kids love watching their shadows move and jump and follow them around. It’s so cute seeing little people discover things like that for the first time.

  34. Cindy Ingalls permalink
    09/02/2017 3:29 pm

    I love the shapes shadows create on the walls as the sun is rising or going down. It’s like my room is coming to life or going to sleep without a word from me.

  35. 09/02/2017 3:43 pm

    Such an interesting topic to cover! I used to do a lot of songwriting years ago and I would definitely find inspiration from shadows and how you can create meanings behind each one when I was writing.

  36. Kait permalink
    09/02/2017 3:56 pm

    My son has been fascinated with his shadow lately, and it is so comical and interesting to me just to watch him play trying to catch it. I will have to try to take a photo of him while he is running after his own shadow ha ha

  37. duffelbagspouse permalink
    09/02/2017 4:05 pm

    Talk about kismet. I once visited RLS house when I was a child in California and swore I saw a ghost.

  38. The Mad Mommy permalink
    09/02/2017 4:19 pm

    The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. <—This is so profound! I have never thought of it like this before!

  39. Marcie W. permalink
    09/02/2017 5:08 pm

    Shadows are definitely a wonderful photo challenge focus. I always love the way the size and shades vary depending on angle and time of day.

  40. Richard permalink
    09/02/2017 5:10 pm

    What a cool challenge. I love working with shadows because they’re so easy to manipulate into something that many people will perceive differently.

  41. Robin Rue permalink
    09/02/2017 5:37 pm

    I love when I get a picture and it has an incredible shadow image in it. It is truly one of the beautiful things about nature!

  42. dearlydainty permalink
    09/02/2017 6:07 pm

    I love this post. It’s so authentic and original. I think of shadows as my past experiences, always wandering around and peeping out when the timing is right. It’s a part of you, but not tangible. xoxo

  43. Dawn McAlexander permalink
    09/02/2017 6:28 pm

    I have never really thought about my shadow, per se, but I do like looking at the shadows of clouds as they cross over a mountain. I think that is so beautiful and peaceful.

  44. Marceline Dementori permalink
    09/02/2017 6:41 pm

    As a kid, I definitely enjoyed looking at shadows and making shapes through the light. It changed when I was growing up and horror films started playing with shadows to add to the scare factor, lol. I like how you captured the shadows in the pictures.

  45. vermishelly (Michelle B) permalink
    09/02/2017 7:03 pm

    That poem brings back memories for me as well. I remember at university, we had to organize a play for Literature class so we decided to do a “play” on Peter Pan. We used lines from different poems as the script and “My Shadow” was one of them. So when you mentioned shadow, I thought about Peter Pan and that play. 🙂

  46. Ana John permalink
    09/02/2017 8:52 pm

    Many a times , I have seen these shadow related photo-shoots. Photographers use the shadow effect create an illusion of something they wan to show. Its really innovative!

  47. Kelly Reci permalink
    09/02/2017 9:03 pm

    Very meaningful article. I never notice the importance of my shadow or my shadow’s reflection to my life.. after reading this it gave me a lot to think! it looks like i will be up all night tonight lol

  48. momknowsbest15 permalink
    09/02/2017 9:07 pm

    Shadows always annoy me when I am taking pictures in the afternoon. I need to work a shadow into my photos for fun.

  49. fashionphases permalink
    09/02/2017 9:29 pm

    Sorry to hear about your major emergency at home. You captured some great pictures of people’s shadows!

  50. My Rambling Reviews permalink
    09/02/2017 9:41 pm

    This was an interesting post brought me back to when my grandson first experienced his own shadow… He was so scared of it until he learned that it was his own reflection. We started looking for books, songs, poems and everything about shadows till he started to try and catch his own shadow, was so funny.

  51. One Creative Mommy permalink
    09/02/2017 9:51 pm

    When I was a teacher, I had my students memorize that poem. That brought back good memories! I love shadows, but they sure frustrate my when I’m taking photos for my blog. I need photos with no shadows.

  52. Joely Smith permalink
    09/02/2017 10:07 pm

    I grew up on this poetry. I remember my mother reading it to me.
    I love taking shadow photography. Not that I am great at it but I do not mind, I love playing with shadows 🙂

  53. Nina permalink
    10/02/2017 12:34 am

    That first quote from Abraham Lincoln really sets the tone for the whole post. It’s so true that your character is the real thing but we tend to be so concerned with what others think of us.

  54. Rhian Westbury permalink
    10/02/2017 3:52 am

    I’ve always been fascinated by shadows too, when they appear and when they disappear x

  55. lips gone blue permalink
    10/02/2017 4:45 am

    I love your idea of photo challenges, your photography is beautiful

  56. 10/02/2017 5:14 am

    Shadows are really interesting. It was difficult and often humorous when the kids were small and I’d try to explain what their shadow was.

  57. ghastlyvongore permalink
    10/02/2017 6:14 am

    I have always loved that poem! Shadows are so peculiar. They are so interesting to study as well when they are made from an interesting pattern in architecture or an object.

  58. behgopa permalink
    10/02/2017 6:21 am

    I haven’t spent too much thought on shadows since I was a kid. When I was young, I was fascinated by the existence of shadows.

  59. Karlyn Cruz permalink
    10/02/2017 8:45 am

    The person and shadow are one but with different appearance. But both are equally important

  60. franckxethee permalink
    10/02/2017 8:59 am

    Somehow, shadow is not only the dark that covers the light. It’s also shows our impact on what we do and what we have achieved.

  61. Rosey permalink
    10/02/2017 9:18 am

    Sorry to hear there was a big watery mess. Those are never fun. Shadows were a big deal to me when I was a kid. I honestly haven’t thought much about them in awhile. Perhaps I should. I certainly will notice the next one I see. 🙂

  62. Azlin Bloor permalink
    10/02/2017 9:42 am

    I am a big fan of Robert Louis Stevenson, and love this poem too. I had to smile at the words, umbra et al, I remember studying them as a kid; can’t remember what subject that would have been for though!

  63. Fatima Torres at MTME permalink
    10/02/2017 10:00 am

    It’s amazing how we see a shadow of something (or someone) and we assume that because of it’s lining, it will be something greater than we imagined. Once you take the time to figure out what it really is, then you’ll notice it’s something small/simple. Nothing you ever imagined.

  64. Josselyn Martinez permalink
    10/02/2017 10:03 am

    that’s interesting!! shadows fascinate me since i watched peter pan, because he wanted to do something and his shadow something else

  65. colleen patricia wool permalink
    10/02/2017 10:29 am

    I love this post. i found it very interesting.

  66. Hey Sharonoox permalink
    10/02/2017 11:01 am

    Such a cool quote by Martin Luther King! I really how you make a collage images of these shadows. Amazing!

  67. Julie Syl Kalungi permalink
    10/02/2017 12:56 pm

    Hey Elizabeth, I hope the water challenge is well and truly sorted.

    Well what can I say about shadows, they are our spirit…when we age gone, we have no shadow! Also the shadow used to scare my little girl, she would run away from her lil shadow it made us laugh no end. What a memory. thanks for bringing it back 🙂

    Julie syl

  68. Sara permalink
    10/02/2017 1:36 pm

    I like this topic. Love your pictures. Light and shadow, opposite and complimentary.

  69. Jazz permalink
    10/02/2017 1:57 pm

    Never really thought much about shadows. This has me interested in wanting to do shots specifically focused on capturing shadows. I’ve always tried to avoid them but for ‘fun shots’ I think it would be really cool!

  70. Adriana Gil permalink
    10/02/2017 2:49 pm

    This is very beautiful, I really like this post. Very interesting! Great work 🙂 xoxo

  71. Kathy permalink
    10/02/2017 2:58 pm

    This is a wonderful post. I never thought about shadows a lot like this. I just know that my girls love to make shadows of their own. 🙂

  72. Claudette P. Esterine permalink
    10/02/2017 3:29 pm

    I cherish my character and spend little time thinking about my reputation. It is as simple as that for me. I follow my inner guidance and leave people to their chatter.

  73. Lisa Rios permalink
    10/02/2017 7:51 pm

    Such a beautiful quote from Abraham Lincoln to start with and the pictures are good enough to related to the topic as well. Shadow definitely has a powerful role, you can experience the fun when kids react to shadows with fear or joy!

  74. jennifer L permalink
    11/02/2017 12:17 am

    I like to see shadows as not all bad. They are rather like our past. We grow from our mistakes and our past to hopefully reach a better future and the light.

  75. TheGracefulMist permalink
    11/02/2017 2:32 am

    I like the first quote by Abraham Lincoln. It reminded me of a post I once saw from a popular finance personality, he said that we should focus more on building our character because our image will eventually follow.

    ❀ Grace ❀

  76. Rose Sahetapy permalink
    11/02/2017 2:35 am

    Shadow in photography definitely a great additional beauty to enhance the photograph. Those quotes and poems speak deeper about life. Love how you capture the shadows on the photos.

  77. Jenni Petrey permalink
    11/02/2017 5:35 am

    I always love coming back to your blog. I’ve always been fascinated with shadows through trees. Can take the most amazing photographs with shadows.

  78. TColeman permalink
    11/02/2017 7:01 am

    This is such a fun challenge. When you can capture shadows it can be so pretty!

  79. vishalgmr1971 permalink
    11/02/2017 9:36 am

    Very nice, as usual I love your photo challenge. It is really awesome idea.

  80. Kimberly Hsieh permalink
    11/02/2017 9:41 pm

    So cool that you put a collage together like this. I love that they all have shadows but everything else is different!!

  81. Erin permalink
    12/02/2017 8:35 am

    Love the quote by Martin Luther Kind Jr! I had never heard that one before!

  82. Chris permalink
    12/02/2017 2:28 pm

    Never thought about this, how shadows can overlay a slightly different, and maybe distorted, reality over an object. Really neat!

  83. Keith Haney permalink
    12/02/2017 7:46 pm

    I have never thought about shadows. But you have given me something to contemplate this week.

  84. Fred permalink
    13/02/2017 3:44 pm

    The way the shadow falls on the floor or the background, or even on the subject can make or break a photograph. A great photographer knows how to use the shadow to create the best dramatic effects.

  85. Nadine Cathleen permalink
    14/02/2017 5:29 am

    Love the way shadows change during the day, especially early in the morning. Let’s me think that the whole day is still in front of me 🙂

  86. katnapped permalink
    14/02/2017 7:15 am

    I’ve always loved the way light and shadow play. It”s my favorite thing to photograph when I’m going all artsy.
    Katja xxx

  87. Dreaming Loud permalink
    14/02/2017 8:10 am

    Shadows are always fascinating to me. When I was a kid, someone told, you shouldn’t look at shadows, you will loose weight if you do so. Sounds silly, but for the very reason, i used to constantly look at shadows to loose weight 😀

  88. alisonrost permalink
    14/02/2017 11:12 am

    Oh how I love shadowy photos! I’ve been trying to do more of this effect in my food photos .. it adds a great bit of drams

  89. Ana Ojha permalink
    14/02/2017 11:33 am

    As a kid, I was fascinated by my shadow. I loved it when my shadows look taller than me. I also loved your collage.

  90. lex permalink
    14/02/2017 3:35 pm

    deep thoughts, our shadow tells us the depth in our other side which goes only hen the moment goes dark and bad but comes when the moments are good and bright. a clear message. thanks for this.

  91. Sara permalink
    14/02/2017 7:07 pm

    Shadows have always been very interesting to me, they’re almost always present in different ways – something I could never fully understand.


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