Shadow & Swimming Pool (Photography)

[William Meyers, Parade Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the End of WW II, Springfield, VT, September, 1995“]

This is one of my favorite photographs ever. I saw it at the home of the photographer, William Meyers, and was immediately drawn to it. Bill tells me that “[he doesn’t think] of the swimming pool as the subject of the picture. The subject is the parade celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of WW II. The air mattress and its shadow are a metaphor for the fleetingness of such celebrations.”

In other words, the subject of the photograph subsists barely visible at the edge of the picture. As  for me, I see the subject of the photograph in  the shadow  on the bottom of the pool cast by the floatee. This is  another way to make Bill’s point. Except for this. In life, a shadow is fleeting. In a picture, the shadow is a permanent feature. It’s always there.

I like the shadow form in photography. It’s like a little Malevitch at the bottom of a swimming pool., a little aura & the spiritual in photography. I love the play of light and the wet circular form.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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