“Shadow 15” by Diane Fenster

Shadow 15 from the series Penumbral Epiphanies.

(1): a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.
(2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking.
(3): an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.
—Definition of Epiphany from the Merriam-Webster dictionary

This series stems from an epiphany received while viewing the shadow of an “insignificant weed” through a skylight in our home. I found myself transfixed, gazing at the swaying shadows as they reacted to the wind. As self-isolation lumbers on due to COVID, the objects I see every day and would normally dismiss, now shine through my ordinary perceptions and become extraordinary. The shadows are seen in a new way and are a doorway to an awakening of the senses that widens my world.

With COVID severely limiting my opportunities to photograph people, I turned to my archive of photographs and selected images that I felt would interact with the shadow photographs I had taken. The image used here is from my series Ghost Stories.

Since I first began creating images I have always tried to leave the window open to allow serendipity to float into my work. Using a plastic lens and handheld long exposures allows for accidents to occur. There is something very freeing about using a workflow where one surrenders control and lets chance to help shape the image. Working with light provides an added dimension especially as it interacts with the people I am photographing, often in unexpected ways.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

The juxtaposition of the face with the abstracted shadow forms.
The addition of a textural layer to tie all the parts together.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

At this point in time I don’t think I’d make any changes. Ask me again in a year or two.

Diane Fenster shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Diane Fenster, Pacifica, CA, USA


Equipment and settings

Diana camera using 120 black & white film for the girl.
iPhone X for the weed shadows.

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Comments (1):

  1. Frank McNulty

    June 24, 2022 at 22:29

    I would that would make an excellent book cover, or stand out in any gallery in its own right.


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