The word ‘silhouette’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as:
‘The dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.’
This week, we’re asked to post a photograph showing a silhouette for the Weekly Photo Challenge.
I’m sure I’ve taken plenty of photographs unintentionally showing silhouettes and certainly not because I know what I’m doing with the light or anything else. But the one thing I do at least know as an amateur photographer is to make sure that the sun is always behind me so as not to shoot directly into it.
Sometimes though the lighting, sunlight or not, doesn’t come into it: what does, is the emotion that washes all technical thoughts away as we want only to capture an exact moment knowing that in an instant, it will be lost forever.
We want only to have the tangible memory of that moment as proof that it really did happen. No matter what, we want that photograph so we have the camera at the ready for that perfect, natural pose irregardless of the less than perfect external conditions. In other words, we simply grab our camera, point and shoot and hope for the best.
This is how I felt when I snapped this shot of my daughter during a visit to Sea World in San Diego, California in June, 2003, only a couple of months before we left California for our new life in England. This was the last family holiday I was to take with my three children together and just before the family life we had known changed irrevocably.
I didn’t know how it would look until the film was developed since it was taken on a 35mm Kodak.
I hoped for the best.
She was entranced by the slow, graceful motion of the beluga whales as they glided through the deep, blue waters of their huge aquarium. Lost in thought, touching the glass as if to somehow connect with the fluidity and calmness of their water-world, I wonder what flowed through her mind? Did she long for the same, weightless escape as she imagined their freedom to inspire? Or did she just enjoy the cool of the glass against the heat of the day as she revelled in the carefree antics of these peaceful creatures?
I can only guess at my little girl’s dreams as I gaze at her silhouette.