Roddy Williams – An ongoing portfolio

Shadow painting


Shadow pictures. I was always fascinated by shadow puppet theatre, those complicated jointed figures which were silhouetted against a transparent screen to beautiful and complex effect.

It struck me that this technique could be applied to still photography and so I set up a somewhat ramshackle studio on the living room table. The screen was an A3 sheet of tracing paper securely taped to a foamboard frame and held upright by four stacks of CDs.

The camera was set up on a tripod on one side of the screen with an anglepoise lamp about five feet away on the other side.  Then, figures and scenery items are cut from card and secured to a cardboard base so that they can be moved around behind the screen. Then one photographs the shadows thrown onto the screen by the lamp. The interesting thing about this process is that depth of field effects can be simulated by the distance one places the cut-outs from the screen.  I love the effect, and will be experimenting and developing this process further.



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