Two themes that I am developing both relate to implied subjects, that is, shadows and tracks. Tracks speak to the presence in a previous time, of some subject. Be it footprints of some quadruped or tracks left by some slithering creature, animal tracks tell of behaviors not visible in the present. Other tracks could be those left by a leaf blown across snow, or a plant’s leaf blades switching across the sand.

Shadows also speak to the presence of a subject, but contemperaneous to the making of the image. In some images, I will make the shadow the entire representation. In others, the shadow and the subject making it will both be included. Ultimately, whether tracks or shadows, the image’s strength is often judged on the graphic representation I achieve.

In this first image of tracks in the sand, there are several creatures involved and a plant as well. There appears to be some four-legged animal, some slithering creature (a lizard perhaps?), some human footprints, and the streaking marks left by the leaf blades of the plants shown. It all tells quite an interesting story. How far apart temporally were these tracks made?

In this second image, I am concentrating on the form and shadow created by the blown sand and the plant leaves. The shadows are long and encompass much of the frame. I like the abstract nature of this image and the simplicity I’ve achieved. Both images were made during a recent trip to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

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6 thoughts on “Tracks and Shadows

  1. I love them both. Like you, I enjoy photographing tracks, as evidence of a kind of “I was here” sentiment (for whatever animal made the tracks, that is.)

  2. Yep, you were there Jen. Jockey’s Ridge can be a very interesting spot, especially if there’s no standing water (mosquitos can be nasty). At some points during my visit, I almost felt like I was in a desert.

  3. This is a great project Paul. One I would have interest in doing myself if I had better access to a beach. I have always liked what I call ‘scribes’ by grasses blowing in the wind, or even impressions left over by waves. I could spend days in a relatively small section of beach.

  4. Excellent project you have going here Paul and these two images presented here has this certain appeal and intrigue about them that I love.
    I hope that you continue with this project. Would certainly love to see more!

    Take care buddy,
    Michael

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