Photograph: David Bond, published in The Guardian, 10 April 2010The strong shadow of a child holding a multi-coloured transparent umbrella. It triggered a train of thought on one of Goethe's most discussed aspects of colour theory: coloured shadows and after-images (see: Farbenlehre, Didaktischer Teil. 1. Abteilung, 6. 62-80 - Farbige Schatten). But looking closely, it is not as simple. When white light shines through a transparent material, in this case plastic), are we not effectively looking at coloured light? Or a combination of coloured light and the shadow of a transparent material? The presence of the "real" shadow of the person holding the umbrella makes it tempting to define the umbrella's shape on the ground as the umbrella's shadow, whereas strictly speaking only the outline is a real shadow. I guess the question of the materiality of transparent materials needs to be discussed, which might make one look at stained glass windows in a different light (pun intended). In comparison, here is my own (vastly inferior) shot of the same subject, minus the person, but with a nice British single yellow line thrown in, which matches the edges of my daughter's pink umbrella.
Flora's umbrella in the sun. Photograph: Alexandra Loske