Shadow Self Portrait Contact Sheets


The time has come to bring assignment 3, self portrait, to a conclusion. Having started shooting at the end of April and continued for about five weeks at a number of different locations the selection and editing process has been time consuming. Every time I reach this point in projects I recall William Eggleston’s strategy of “one picture of one thing“, an approach he adopted after finding multiple images of the same subject only made selection confusing and more difficult (1). How right he was. However, the following contact sheets contain the long list of around 40 images. Over the course of the next few days I hope to hone this down to about a dozen.

In my research (here and here) I, rather arbitrarily, categorised shadow self portraits into 8 categories:

  • Merged shadow and landscape – texturising the shadow with the landscape and blending them into a single object.
  • Narrative – using the shadow to tell a story.
  • Silhouettes – the classic indexical signifier
  • Autobiographical – the photographer’s shadow in their place of work
  • Relationships – the photographer’s shadow interacting with their subject
  • Graphical – pattern and shapes
  • Transitional – where shadows and reflections meet.
  • The shadow of the creative hand.

Over the course of the last five weeks I have explored a number of these approaches so to make selection a little easier I have divided the long list into four groups:

  • Autobiographical – in the sense that I see this as “my” landscape, locations that I regularly photograph. This group does contain three “transitional” photographs.
  • Graphical – patterns, shapes and contrasts
  • Relationships – my shadow interacting with the human subject
  • Merged shadow and landscape – although I have tended to look for texture in the landscape rather than texturising the shadow.

However, the main theme that I will develop with the final selection is the creative hand, making the series a discourse on the process of creating the photographs.




Merged Shadow and Landscape



(1) The Colourful Mr Eggleston, (2009) Directed by Jack Cocker and Rainer Holzemer and edited by Alan Yentob for the BBC’s Imagine programme, BBC Scotland

This entry was posted in Assignment 3 - Self Portraits, Research and Reflection and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Shadow Self Portrait Contact Sheets

  1. Great shots and a fantastic project.

  2. Catherine says:

    Yu’ve taken a very scholarly approach to creating this assignment and it has merged wonderfully with creativity. I think you must be ‘spoiled for choice’ and wondering which way you will go! As I was looking at them I kept thinking, “How did he do that? “. Fascinating!

  3. Bob Ramsak says:

    Nice selection. #05 really stands out to me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s