Seattle Unintended Effects #4 – The Shadow Knows

This street snapshot by Victor Lydgman (1927 to 2010) looks north on Second Avenue from its intersection with Pike Street, the southwest corner.  Undated, the negative is yet part of a packet of consecutively numbered negatives, some of them dated 1962, the likely date for this too.   The sun is to the northwest and so later in the afternoon and throwing long shadows.  One of these shadows lends us “Unintended Effects #4” and waits on a reader to unravel its mysteries.   The right leg (here on the left) of the tall and/or slender woman, left of center, seen here in profile, is planted on the pavement and throws an appropriate shadow to the east-southeast – like all other shadows at this time and in this place.  The left leg is beginning its lifting motion that puts the toe – only – in touch with the sidewalk.  It too castes a shadow – but an uncanny one.  The shadow appears to originate to the left of the toe, and so on the sun’s side of the foot.  Since this is not possible – that that part of the shadow be cast by the left leg or foot – what then is casting that shadow – or that part of it in front of the shoe?  In all respects it looks like the darkness in front (to the left and west) of the shoe is continuous with the shadow behind the foot.  There is also no blending of the shadows thrown by the left and right legs.  Although they come close to touching or closing off the light between them, they do not.  The darkness in front of the left foot does not look like a stain or something inserted into the pavement for, for instance, a utility.  What and how is it?  (Click to Enlarge)

7 thoughts on “Seattle Unintended Effects #4 – The Shadow Knows”

  1. Shadow to the right of the right leg shadow is from her bag. You can’t see the shadow from her right leg.

    “Everything looks better in black and white.” Paul Simon

  2. That’s it then. Her toe is not touching the pavement. It is airborne. What clever fellows with spatial relations. You may both wish to pursue second careers with three-dimensional modeling. Can you’l also draw?

  3. What startles me about this photo is the fact the sign above the what I’ve heard referred to as “the new Washington Hotel” actually says “New Washington”. I didn’t realize NEW was part of the name.

  4. Journeyman: The old Washington Hotel was destroyed with Denny Hill, where it was originally named Denny Hotel. They replaced it with a wholly dissimilar New Washington Hotel, just a couple of blocks away.

    The New Washington Hotel became old and transformed into the Josephinium. But why did the apartment get the old Catholic name?

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