Shadow Play

Winter's fast approaching. The days shorten. The sun's trek across the southern sky is fast, and lower on the horizon each day. Evening walks near sundown cast long shadows.

Maia and I take an evening stroll, just the two of us. We walk at old lady pace. Watching my old girl walk the slow pace that suits her age and joints, I think, "I hope someone takes me for walks when I'm old and slow."

Maia poses against a backdrop fast fading to late autumn brown and beige.

When I lived here a few years ago, I once photographed the shadows cast by me and the girls against a dirt hillside in the forest, just before sunset. One dog on each side of me, one standing, one sitting. Curious, I printed it onto 8.5 x 11 inch office paper. It printed beautifully, and I've always liked it. At my last workplace, I tacked it to my office bulletin board. It generated lots of positive comments. Noticing similar shadows on several recent evening walks, I decided to see if I could capture a similar scene.

Setting up the shadow shot, but Maia's in the foreground and...I cut my own head off!

Better, but Maia's still in the shot. And bored. She wants to keep moving.

We move. Maia exercises her nose, which remains as keen as ever.

Nice lighting on her legs, throwing long shadows.

Finally we reach a spot where the shadows fall against the nearly dead field grass, with enough definition that you can tell it's a human and a dog.

Getting there, but you can tell I'm holding a camera. Try again.

Now we're talking. Not bad, although the field grass makes for fuzzy outlines.

Sun now nearly set, we head for home. Turning up the gravel driveway, I see our shadows again, really long this time and more clearly defined.


Maia, impatient, simply turns and heads for the house. She's done playing with shadows.


She turns to look at me, as if to say, "Enough already! Let's go! I want my end-of-walk treat and a drink of water."


I follow Maia to the house, let her in the yard, then bring Meadow and Finn outside to join us. Treats all around! We watch the sun turn vibrant shades of orange before it quickly slips out of sight behind the hills to the west.
Rebecca WallickComment