|Apollo 11. Shadow: Neil Armstrong. NASA|
|Apollo 12. Shadow unknown. NASA|
|Apollo 12. Shadow: Pete Conrad. NASA|
|Apollo 14. Body + shadow: Alan Shepard. Shadow: Edgar Mitchell. NASA|
|Apollo 14. Astronaut shadow unknown. NASA|
|Apollo 15. Shadows: Dave Scott and Jim Irwin. NASA|
In these images, I'm interested in the astronaut who is not in the picture, whose presence is revealed by their shadow. It's also about the insubstantial shadow in relation to the hard and solid objects. In the image immediately above, it looks like the shadow of Jim Irwin is attempting to capture the solid stick-insect shape of the tripod with a shadow net.
There's a pattern of elongated legs. The bodies are distorted, and also cyborg: in the shadow, flesh and camera meld into one amorphous shape.
The photos are silent, although we do have a beepy staticky soundtrack to them in our heads, implanted by the Apollo 11 television footage. Somehow the shadows accentuate the silence.
I particularly like Pete Conrad's shadow cast in the crater as he stands on the edge looking down. The angle of his body makes the shadow appear as if in profile, creeping silently along a shadow ridge to what end we cannot know. It has a dream-like quality.
We could say that of all the shadows, perhaps. Were they not caught in the photograph like a fly in amber, they would have vanished without trace in seconds, as evanescent as the dream on waking.