Brittany visited yesterday evening, so even though there was heavy cloud dominating the evening sky, we still grabbed the camera and hoop and headed off for Lake Parker to watch the sun go down.
In truth, the sun fizzled out of view long before it hit the horizon and if I hadn’t been in such good company, there might have been an air of disappointment in the evening.
But instead, I just watched her hooping to the sounds of her music and focused more on her shape and moves than what the surrounding light was doing.
At the start of the evening there were a couple of people nearby so she hooped with a facemask, which is very much a sign of the times these days. But when they were gone the mask came off, the music from her phone mixed into the balmy breeze, and her dance seemed at one with the calm of the evening.
There are a few pics at the end of the blog and forgive my messing with some of them. I just chose to filter the sky in a couple of different ways to make up for its own lack of color.
In any event, as I sorted through the images this morning, the whole aspect of silhouette began to play out in my head.
In a photographic sense, the use of silhouette like in these shots allows us to focus on the shape and movement of the subject of the image, rather than the subject themselves.
I’ve noticed that when you choose to silhouette a person in a shoot, the person is best suited to be thin and wearing tight fitting clothing. Brittany is an excellent candidate for such shots and I am fortunate that she doesn’t mind the incessant shutter-clicks while she is losing herself in her own moment.
But, beyond photography, there is also a real value in silhouetting the subject of whatever situation we find ourselves in.
What I mean here is removing the actual person from the thought being processed and only focusing on their actions and behavior.
So much pre-judgment and profiling occurs when we witness a situation with a person we love or hate, a person who is the same color as us or a different color, a person who has our politics or the opposite.
And this profiling alters how we see what we see.
For example, most thinking people of my politics see the dotard as a pussy-grabbing, lying, racist and so every movement or tweet he makes is viewed from that perspective. Others see him as a man of the people who always says things in jest.
And some people see a black male, in ghetto-clothing walking towards them and they get nervous. Others see just a man walking towards them and they pass each other by with acknowledgement.
Sometimes we encounter a disagreement between those we love and someone we don’t and we find ourselves drifting to the the view point of the former, even though the latter may be more correct.
Some of us watch the same game of soccer as everyone else but we see all the unseen fouls committed on our players, while the opposition gets all the calls in their favor.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is that when we create a silhouette of a person (or persons), it allows us to remove our bias from the equation and look more objectively as to how it has played out.
The benefit is not just the reduced polarization that we feel on an issue, but also it allows us to see the other side of the situation as being “people” too.
Reducing the feeling of us and them is a very important part of building a more harmonious world. People who choose to divide and incite hatred always use an “us vs them” scenario… never affording the opposition the status of being people also.
It is a mechanism that has traveled the ages in all four corners of the world, enabling wars against the “enemy”, and allowing us to shoot or bomb them without consideration that they are just people too. People like us.
Silhouetting allows us to extract our animus feelings of a person or people and look only at their actions and the impact of such. It allows us to establish bridges over a subject when we find a common ground even with people we are normally averse to.
And common ground always exists … both sides of any situation are people. They live and breathe like us, have families like us, dreams and hopes like us, and they bleed like us.
We just have to open our minds to the possibility that they may have more in common with us than we are predisposed to think.
Have a wonderful week!