Sunday, January 23, 2011

bird on a wire

pigeon conference

I was curious to trace the etymology of the word silhouette, given our theme this week.  It's a beautiful sounding word (go ahead, say it aloud right now... put a little flourish on the last syllable... doesn't that roll off the tongue nicely?), and I figured it would have some deeper meaning.  In actuality, the word is named after an 18th century Frenchman named Etienne de Silhouette,  a politician who controlled finances, apparently not very well.  He was criticized as frugal (to excess) and parsimonious in his work, and that description later came to be attached to silhouettes as we now know them in the art and photography world - something that is very simple, or frugal so to speak.

However they came to be, they're a beautiful way to capture shapes  - both simple and abstract - and to highlight negative space.

RDN87's beautiful photo of branches and birds caught my eye in the pool, which was such a pleasure to scroll through this week, a visual feast of silhouettes.

cheers,
mosey of mosey along

IMG
IMG by RDN87

14 comments:

Angie said...

Wow. Love the bird silhouettes!

Tammy Lee Bradley said...

What a perfect pairing.

urban muser said...

a gorgeous pairing. i was waiting for a good bird on a wire...how could we get through silhouette week without it? love it!

Cheryl Doyle-Ruffing said...

Both photos are fabulous, and I love learning something new. Etymology can be very interesting. The out-of-print-but-available-used "Browser's Dictionary" by John Ciardi is a case in point.

jennifée said...

Thanks for sharing the etymology of the word - that's very interesting, and I had no idea where it came from :)

Anna said...

Thank you for the background info on the word silhouette. Very interesting! I do love the abstract qualities of both the photos.

Kirstin said...

Oh wow. Kim this is a wonderful post....so lovely to find out about the word, but also those pictures are a real treat!

mosey said...

Thanks everyone. One last little tidbit about Etienne de Silhouette - he was fond of creating papercut profiles of people as a hobby - so another link to the silhouettes we're familiar with today!

Ashley Sisk said...

I always love a beautiful birds on a wire silhouette and these two shots make for a perfect pairing. Love it.

Jan @twoscoopz said...

These are both so gorgeous!!!
Interesting about the origins of the word too. Thanks for that, Mosey. Learn something new everyday :)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

As beautiful as both shots are I can't help but be reminded of the old movie The Birds!

Chelsea said...

These both are so gorgeous!

April said...

That is interesting Mosey :) I love love bird silhouettes, both shots are great!

Oliag said...

I love both of these photos! I haven't had a chance to comment much but I have been enjoying this series of silhouette photos a great deal!

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