What is life?  The flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.  It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.  –Native American Blackfeet–

Every man has a different idea of beautiful…best to take the gesture, the shadow of the branch, and let the mind create the tree.–Wm. Faulkner

A man cannot jump over his own shadow–Yiddish proverb

Beware the dog–it’s shadow will not bite.  –Danish proverb–

Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.  –Swedish proverb–

If you stand straight, you need not fear a crooked shadow.–Chinese proverb–

Observe carefully, and you will find wisdom even in the shadows. –African proverb–

One can live within the shadow of an idea without grasping it.–Elizabeth Bowen–

The shadow is often more interesting than the object itself.–Ellen Thompson–

There are dark shadows on earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.–Charles Dickens–

Imagination is the real and eternal world, of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.–Wm. Blake (1757-1827)

No hill is without gravestones, no valley without shadows. –South African proverb–

Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines.–Edward Young–

Count your nights by stars, not shadows; count your life with smiles, not tears.–Italian proverb–

All images c2013 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadows.

Click here to see Turkey, a Land of Light and Shadows.


  1. This is fantastic Naomi so much thought and love put into the shadows. (the shadow is often more interesting…) In particular the one of the people with only shadows seen is a work of art. I would be tempted to play with it and produce an abstract piece with it. Congratulations on nailing this. NOW why aren’t you Freshly Pressed?

    1. Hi Patti,
      Thank you. Shadows are so fascinating, and there is no shortage of material to draw upon. I don’t do sudoku or crossword puzzles, but pairing photos with the right words gives me the same sense of accomplishment.

  2. Naomi – so many of these are so good! Excellent pairing of quotes and photos – especially like the shot with “Worry gives a small thing a big shadow” and I love the gate photo. Great post.

      1. If I “like” it on the site, does that count as voting for it? If so, I have happily done so. I looked for a ballot box or some other sign of or link to officially vote, and couldn’t find one. So I liked it, and hope that will count. It is adorable.

      2. No, you’re right … it’s only LIKE you click after you used the link. Thank you so much … and he are so adorable .. or maybe it’s a she .. she is slightly pink.

  3. Nice! My brother likes to take pictures of himself on his bike as he rides. Very interesting. Love the quote: “Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.” Also, this quote, although not about shadows, came to mind: “It is always darkest just before the dawn.” Maybe it was the light and dark theme- or the juxtaposition of positive and negative space in your photos- that brought that to mind. At any rate, I enjoyed seeing this post.

    1. Thank you. I love that matchmaking process, and I really enjoy proverbs. In my anthology of folk tales, Apples From Heaven, I had the pleasure of pairing each story with the perfect proverb.

  4. Brilliant as ever, Naomi, with your weaving of words around the pictures. Such a wonderful selection of shadow quotes. I particularly love the Yiddish one.

    Here’s one I found: “The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings.

    1. I love that quote, Sarah. The photo that goes with the Yiddish proverb was really a cool one. We were in Argentina in their winter, on salt flats. So when Bea jumped up into the air, her shadow was so far away that it really did look like she had jumped over it and left it far behind. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response.

  5. I love proverbes 🙂 Naomi, this is another great post I loved reading – thank you for sharing it with us .. my favourite is the Danish one about the dog’s shadow 🙂

  6. Shadow-play: that’s were the work gets done.
    Your photographs are always one beauty upon another, a poetry of sorts. Often quite soothing. Thank you! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jamie. It’s a quiet satisfying thing for me to put together one of these posts. Sort of like a crossword or a jigsaw puzzle, only you can share it with your friends.

  7. WOW! This is the best I’ve viewed yet in the “Shadow” challenge. I love the photographs, and appreciate the way you threaded them together with prose and quotes. Sensational effort.

    1. Thank you for the kind response, and for the follow. I enjoyed a visit to your blog, and I see that you are an excellent photographer and storyteller. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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