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I am back working on the paradoxical shadows. Instrument Six (below) proved that I could make a floating shadow (hovering in mid air and detached from the surface that it should by rights land upon), both photographically and as a direct experience. For the latter, the candles worked very beautifully but require a very dark space to work in and have practical limitations, so I am making new instruments with electric light bulbs instead. The new instruments will test a host of possibilities raised by Instrument Six.

Instrument Six

Instrument Six

White Rhino Diorama at the American Museum of Natural History

White Rhino Diorama at the American Museum of Natural History

I have posted a photograph of the White Rhinoceros group at the American Museum of Natural History before (in stereo, if I remember correctly). The 1937 diorama has a fine background painting by James Perry Wilson. It is located in a corner of the mezzanine level of the  Akeley Hall of African of Mammals in a corner with a low ceiling (which wilson tries to disguise with heavy rain clouds). To fit the  two large White Rhinos in the tight space without them standing too close to the observer, one is located very close to the painted background. To help mitigate against a shadow on the background (which would collapse the illusion of depth) apparently the hidden side of the Rhino is painted white. This possibility of negating one’s shadow has been teasing me recently and will be part of the new instrument I am working on.

Flat Shadow

Flat Shadow

Instrument Six

Instrument Six

Yesterday I posted a stereoscopic picture of the floating shadow created by Instrument six (which can by definition only be seen to hover stereoscopically). The view is of quite a subtle lift from the surface and the registration lines on the folding picture plane behind help you sense the parallax. Due the subtle lift some people have difficulty in seeing the float, so here is a stereoscopic view of the shadow registered on the screen (in its normal position before Instrument Six lifts it into the space between the shadow caster and the screen). Also a picture of Instrument Six for anyone who is new to this blog.

After viewing this image in stereo, it might be worth returning to the previous post to see the difference.

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