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The Giant Hand

One of my assignments for The Art of Seeing class, was to create a silhouette image during the day. It is far easier to created a silhouette at either sunrise or sunset, when the sun backlights the central subject of the image. The trick during the day is to find an area of shade that has a well light background, expose for the background, and then take the image.

This sort of thing is pretty easy in the city where were are many buildings that are evenly illuminated. There are very few places on my property that have even illumination. It's only when I began lining up a silhouette shot that I realized how mottled a stand of trees are. Things that my eye and brain ignore are captured faithfully by the camera. A mottled background does not produce a pleasing silhouette. After many tries, I noticed that the 10,000 gallon water tank was casting a giant shadow, yet the shed that was about 10 feet away was evenly lit. The only challenge then was to find a subject.

I decided to use my hand and the self timer on the camera. After a few attempts of not getting my hand properly into the field of view of the camera, I remembered that the LCD panel on my camera flips completely so that when I stand in front of the camera I can see the viewfinder image, although it's upside down. Once I flipped the LCD panel, it was easy to frame my hand. To me, it looks like a giant hand because my tendency is to interpret the silhouette as a shadow on the building. But it is not.

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